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Kristin Rapp 1959 Sweden

With a stroke of mathematics and music, Kristin Rapp takes over the urban space during this year’s OpenART. Rapp has had a long career making art for the public environment. Her Bebop is printed and cut-out window film that dances along the façade of Sweco’s architecture offices on Drottninggatan. If the title of the work is any indication, this dancing takes place to the music of the most energetic form of jazz – bebop.

Kristin Rapp’s public artworks have often involved the adornment of flat glass through blasting and painting, or through print on larger laminated glass panels.  Her art, both that exhibited in public spaces and her individual sculptures and paintings, is characterized by a refined simplicity. It deals exclusively with abstract figurations that emerge from basic mathematical figures.

Rapp trained as a musician when she was young but then changed course and became an artist. Music and mathematics are intimately connected, and the artist has incorporated this connection into her distinctive imagery.

Her artistic process is about finding the individual work’s intrinsic rhythm and how the constituent shape elements arrange themselves into a dynamic whole with amplified resonance.

But it’s not only the shape that’s important. The colours are the musical sound pattern Rapp had been practising so long as a musician and which she has now let stream into her art to form a harmonic unit of form and colour.

It is often said these days that human beings long for reality – even though digital technology offers every opportunity for an escape from it. From this perspective, Rapp’s abstract figures may seem to be an intangible contradiction to those yearning for representational images.

In actuality, it is the opposite. Her Bebop is reality at its most basic – the building blocks from which our world is composed. They are no less real than a face in a portrait. Instead, these are images on an even more basic level, conveyed with an imagery closely linked with the fundamental mathematical principles on which everything from atoms to humans are constructed. They are puzzle pieces of us all, these colourful images. Of you, of me, dancing along to beautiful music on the building of Storgatan.