She loved systems, clean and structured, simple or complex, numbers or letters, and conveying all their obvious and hidden meanings into her art: conceptual artist Rune Mields. Science, oftentimes considered as a cold and unapproachable discipline, is effortlessly included in Mields’ art, building synergies between a mathematical-scientific system and a sophisticated scientific expression, having the artist explore the reality behind her works ever since.  

Rune Mields, born 1935 in Münster, began her career with tube paintings, helped Gerhard Richter hang his pictures, and admired Paolo Uccello as a role model. Along the way, she established herself as a celebrated conceptual artist who blazed new trails for German art. Before that, Rune Mields had to carve out her way into the art world. Art was considered a male domain and difficult for women to enter, she had to forgo an apprenticeship in photography as well as training as a window dresser. Rune Mields completed an apprenticeship as a bookseller, focusing on scientific books. The dream of a career as an artist remained alive, however, even if she pursued it as an autodidact: Driven by natural sciences and technology, Mields created her first artwork “tubes” - paintings of geometrically precisely balanced tube objects that seemed to grow out of the canvas. The eye-catching effect is based on a mathematically founded sensory illusion. 

Numbers and numerates continue to be an important objective in Rune Mields’ work, in which she visualizes these systems and decodes their meanings. Prime numbers appear in Rune Mields' work - numbers that are only divisible by themselves and by one. In groups of works, the artist deals with sign systems and creation myths, the occidental ideal of beauty, color systems and music.  

In 1977, Rune Mields participated in documenta 6 in Kassel and showed the historical, two-part work "Sanju-Prime-Numbers: The Raven", which she created a year earlier, in 1976 after her research on the system of Chinese stroke and bamboo numerals.

Rune Mield's work "Augustinus sagt..." is part of “100 days, 100 works – documenta artists (re-) discovered”-collection on misa.art, which releases one artwork by documenta-exhibited artists during this year's documenta fifteen. 

Michael Böttcher
Galerie Judith Andreae