Yvonne Goulbier is a German artist who works predominantly with fluorescent materials and black light. For over 40 years, the artist has been using light to create poetic atmospheres and to expose the “soul” of the space. A principal theme in the work of Yvonne Goulbier is the perception and alteration of reality. Mostly working in and with public spaces, the artist reveals and refigures dark, unusual rooms in the glow of color pigments. In addition to exhibitions at renowned institutions such as Folkwang Museum, the Centre for International Light Art in Unna, Sprengelmuseum and Villa Massimo, Goulbier has received numerous stipends and prizes for her work.
born 1953 in Kaiserslautern
works and lives in Hildesheim
1974 – 1979 Study of Interior architecture
1980 – 2011 collaborative work with husband and sculptor Klaus Goulbier, b. Müller, 1951 – † 2011
Studium der Bildhauerei
EXHIBITIONS & PROJECTS
2019 Special prize for the installation: “i fiori della luce”, Höhler Biennale 2019, Gera
2008 Art Prize of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the State Parliament of Lower Saxony
2001 Scholarship of the Rhein-Neckar district
1988 stay at Villa Massimo
1987 Award of the Heitland Foundation, Celle
1987 Drabert Art Prize, Minden/Cologne
1986 Working scholarship of the Kunstfonds, Bonn
1986 Villa Massimo Fellowship
1985 Scholarship of the Barkenhoff Foundation, Worpswede
1983-1985 Scholarship of the Kunstverein Hannover (Klaus Müller)
Places of silence
When experiencing rather than seeing Yvonne Goulbiers rooms, one is forced to contemplate an alternate reality. … There are only a few artists who are as dependent on the use of reality for the realisation of their concept as Yvonne Goulbier. Well aware of how important the pre-existent basis of space is for its later transformation, the artist conscientiously devotes herself to the complete and austere research of the found condition. She examines the building structure, the visible history and perceptible aura of the space, always in search of the challenge that is already inherent in the architecture. It is no coincidence that her strongest works have been created in spaces with a pronounced architectural and spiritual presence …”.
Yvonne Goulbier prefers to realize her light art in confined spaces. “One reason is the technical necessity to exclude all external light influences, that is natural daylight, and thus to make fluorescent materials glow with the help of artificial light sources, so-called black light.
Strictly speaking, Yvonne Goulbier is should be considered an artist of darkness, not a light artist. Black is the condition from which a novelty can emerge, darkness fills the rooms before their iridescent, new existence is revealed in the glow of color pigments. In other words, Yvonne Goulbier’s actual creative process starts with the radical decision to first erase existing reality in a kind of artificial blindness – only to hope all the more intensely for the emergence of ‘inner images’ of a desired, different reality.
In the process of the artistic ‘shifting’ of reality, Yvonne Goulbier uses light as a technical instrument and space to set the stage for architecture and light to emerge in a transformed form. In this way, she creates objects that seem to consist only of pure, luminous color, and that exude their borrowed existence all the more intensively over time. The materials used for this can consist of anything, as long as they are freed from their original specific normality and put into a state of natural artificiality. Yvonne Goulbier takes the blunt power of reality by erasing, shifting, colorfully charging and serially flooding, even in objects of stupendous triviality. She thus elevates the color objects to … artistic building blocks of another world, with which the status quo is not imitated, but in which the desire for one’s own laws and visions is fulfilled: namely, a fascination with nature, romantic exaggeration, aesthetic beauty, artificial perfection and gain through loss.
– Eckhard Schneider, 1998 Excerpts from the catalogue text: Yvonne Goulbier Lichträume, Cibachrome, Bilder, published by the Cultural Foundation Schloss Agathenburg on the occasion of the exhibition from March to May 1998 Translated by Alice Hinrichs, 2020