The twin-horned peninsular of Cape St. Vincent and Sagres lies at Europe's
most south westerly tip, the end of the known world and the beginning
of the unknown to the Portuguese explorers of the 15th century.
The ancients called it the Sacred Promontory in deference to the gods
who came to rest there at night after their toils and to watch the ocean
boil as the fiery setting sun sank into its embrace.
Bathed in Atlantic light, it is a place of bleak awesome beauty and a
sense of history that has long inspired writers, poets, and painters.
The cape is named after the Iberian martyr St Vincent whose body, according
to legend, was washed ashore nearby and then guarded by 10 sacred ravens
in a local church.
It was from here that Prince Henry the Navigator set sail on the epic
voyages of discovery, opening up new trade routes to the New World, Africa
and the Far East.
The magic and mystery of this historic setting has exercised a strong
the German artist Dietrich Bartscht, who for the 10 years that he has
lived and worked here, has been in constant dialogue with the changing
light, colour and forms of the landscape and the sea.
These have been unconsciously absorbed into his artistic imagination and
find an outward expression in his series of new mono-prints and paintings.
These works explore a transparency of technique and material that may
have an incidental link with the concept of this exhibition, entitled
"Atlantic Light", but they are not, in artistic terms, formal
statements that have a direct correlation with the seen thing.
They are a creative parallel to the artist's relationship with a unique
environment in which he feels a spiritual excitement and a special sense
of place. The dialectic of man and nature. It is a place enchanted by
the sirens who whisper: "Can you show your love for me?" And
this is the artist's answer.
Burgau, Algarve 2002.