Adrinka’s Song, 2003

Adrinka's Song, 2003
Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

African chants

The fascinating oil painting Adrinka’s Song is painted in a strong colourfulness established by vibrant shades of red and yellow, mixed with contrasting shades of brown – a choice of colours similar to other works of the Africa cycle. In comparison to earlier works, however, Ruth Baumgarte makes use of a softer brushstroke that also has a more summary effect.

In a wide landscape, in which only a hut and a few trees can be spotted, a female singer takes centre stage – dressed in traditional clothes, looking down yet raising her hands for clapping. Wearing extravagant jewellery around her arms and neck, she appears as if in trance, deeply immersed in her singing. Around her, people dance and many of them raise their hands just like she does. Only one child, standing on the right, watches the singer in astonishment, moved by her performance. From the left side of the image, a young man is approaching the singer.

The people and the multi-facetted play of colours bring across the rhythm and the melody of the singing. Thus, this work is a synthesis of the art of painting and the art of music.

As usual, Ruth Baumgarte does not establish specific connections or relations in the images belonging to her Africa cycle. Neither the location nor the occasion for the emergence of this artwork are known. This is why the artist, quite possibly, merged different impressions that she gained during her travels on the African continent and let them flow into this composition.