Werfer — Achim Riethmann's works are extreme, reduced to show a single aspect, blank and straightforward. Sharp-edged aquarelles which only at second glance become clearly recognisable as such. The medium aquarelle — almost particular these days — does serve Achim Riethmann's work not only with a technical advantage but also in a conceptual way.
His works show people as well as plants, not as a whole but in cut-out, often incomplete, fragments. With neither areal nor contextual background they stand on their own at the centre of the white watercolour paper.
Herein the pivotal trait of Achim Riethmann's work becomes clear: the absence of an artist-made background emphasises the presented objects and fragments of movement – enhancing and unmasking them. The medium aquarelle elevates them to a downright shimmering easiness posing a sharp contrast to the persons shown.
The way the artist utilises the white colour of the paper it nearly gives birth to shapes and objects. They come out of nowhere, from the cold, white surface, piercing through and yet remaining only silhouettes which at any time could easily retract into the white of their background.
The absence of context frees the artist from having to make a statement allowing him to pose real questions – calling upon the observer to confront the subjective questions arising: ' Is what I perceive - immediately upon looking - really what is depicted or does one's mind instantly initiate a chain of associations adding background and context?'
However, putting Achim Riethmann's works in optical relation to each other not only an area of tension establishes but on top of that coherences and intense connections emerge. New questions are raised attending to a range of topics in the background which become almost inevitably clear only by assembling several pieces. This is where substance and form equate: One individual thrower appears out of context. Several of those however, side by side, result in a new coherence, not only on a visual level but also in terms of content.
Achim Riethmann's works meet at the observer's point of view. Political bearing, personal opinion or inner protests become neutral. A seemingly aggressive behaviour falls to pieces. Protagonists and antagonists become indistinct. What remains is a highly symbolic gesture.