Ingrid Kerma's new paintings - certainly the most impressive of her career so far - function , as all her work functions, on the cusp between abstraction and figuration. The overall impression is of grey-blue, rock-like abstractions in which fragments of image lie embedded like fossils.
Wapping is a clutter of warehouse fronts arranged in blocks across a grey, dirt day, a painting of an emotional state as much as a cityscape: a citscape with ambitions to become a rockface.
Berlin '86, this exhibition's most beguiling picture, is a yellow-brown interior that seems soft where Wapping seems hard, a deep space that echoes with the madness of corridors, like Van Gogh's views of the asylum of St. Remy.
But this is certainly not yet another display of relentless German angst. It is an exhibition notable for the curious picture space it explores, at once solid and see-through, like looking into an iceberg.
Kerma's previous work has sometimes seemed overly illustrative. The antics of the figures had to be deciphered to be understood. In these fine paintings the artist is seen imprisoning the narrative behind tough and mysterious picture surfaces. Viewing her work has become an altogether more complex and engrossing procedure.
Text written by Waldemar Januszczak, March 1987.