Philip Wittmann has distinguished himself in the art world with his unique fusion of abstract art and calligraphic elements. His work is a testament to the compelling intersection of visual signs and the origins of written language, inviting viewers into a narrative where abstract expression and symbolic meaning converge. Through his art, Wittmann creates a dialogue that not only showcases his mastery but also challenges the audience to explore the depths of their own interpretations.
Philip Wittmann’s artistic journey began 32 years ago when, at 26, he ventured into the realm of 'pure' abstraction as an amateur painter. Yet, he soon recognized the need for a more substantial foundation to guide the evolution of his work.
In 2008, a pivotal calligraphy class led Wittmann to a book on the origins of the Chinese alphabet, where he discovered the inherent symbolism in signs. Unlike the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, Chinese characters are intrinsically graphical, often bearing a visual resemblance to their meanings, as seen in the character for 'turtle' resembling its real-world counterpart.
Wittmann is captivated by the interpretative nature of signs. He observes that while a phrase like “the sky is blue” conjures a specific mental image, albeit with personal nuances, a sign's meaning is open-ended, inviting the viewer to project their conscious or unconscious thoughts onto it. This interpretive freedom, where onlookers craft their own narratives, is what Wittmann finds most alluring in his art.
Merging signs with calligraphic elements has become the hallmark of Wittmann's style. He has since created a unique lexicon of signs, meticulously employing them in his compositions with inks and oils, crafting a visual language that beckons viewers to engage with their individual interpretations.