Hubertus Kirchgässner, 1991 deputy director – Akademi Remscheid, (catalogue text)


She starts off on a level that others would only reach after several years. There is a complexity in her artistic means, as if she had already undergone years of development.


The shapes, the still life and the interiors facilitated the colour and the rhythm, the pictorial dominating the motivic at all times.


She sees herself as the witness of a process, in which she herself is the subject. She is unaware of its future course, but she surrenders herself to it. The paintings are stations, and new problems define the next steps. The steps, however, are inseparable from herself. She is the process.


Bettina Winkelmann’s paintings are not a simple unshaped matter of experience that she throws at the feet of her audience. She says: ’My point of departure could be something I have seen or, to some extent, a sensation, but in the end, the painting has to function as a painting’. The paintings attract the attention to a very specific point – a vibrating border: Between immediacy and will.

It is about the diverse clarity or clear diversity that is still regarded as a sign of quality in all art forms. The paintings have an organic coherence, and still, in every detail, they reach an optimal level of excitement – cheap harmonization or screaming dissonance is nowhere to be found. They are always balancing on the edge between simplicity and diversity, spontaneity and control, imaging and painting, writing gesture and picture order, emotion and form.


Hilke Nissen, Berliner Morgenpost, 1992

…Light and shadow especially contributes to the sensual atmosphere of Bettina Winkelman’s paintings. The figurations move towards dissolution, there is only a hint of motives…the paintings are vibrating on the border between abstraction and will.

Jørgen Hansen, Jyllandsposten, 1993

…’And someone is watching’ is the name of the painting, and that is definitely the case. Bettina Winkelmann’s sketched figures in a grand painting, perhaps with nature as it’s background, are perfectly disposed.

F. Garde, Århus Stiftstidende, 1992

…There are fine timbres in Bettina Winkelmann’s subdued painting

Ekstrapost Silkeborg, 1993

…Watching BW’s oil- and tempera paintings, one can follow the classic structure and the motives are subject to the universal laws of colours and painting.

Bjarne Bækgaard, Århus Stiftstidende, 1994

The point of departure for her artistic work is classic, and her mode of expression is modern…

Rigmor Løvring, Kunstavisen, 1994

…On a background consisting of multi-coloured fields, Bettina Winkelmann suggests figurative shapes using simple, sensitive lines, which gives the paintings their special characteristics…

Bjarne Bækgaard, Århus Stiftstidende, 1998

BW is looking for rhythm and harmony in the colour, which she regards as a musical instrument…

Christina zu Mecklenburg, Bonner Rundschau, 1998

…the paintings have a parallel to the musical composition, with colour harmonies and sonorous chords…

…BW’s work is always looking for colour harmonies and sounding chords, which, occasionally, she dissolves into dissonances…

Dr. Petra Rapp-Neumann, art historian, Bonn, 1998

Bettina Winkelmann shows herself as a master of successfully dividing the face of the painting, of an almost lapidary simplification and very aesthetical reduction of shapes and a raw ability to sense.

It is very musical compositions conveying rhythm, hovering, sound and phrasing, using a specific mode of expression, which no longer needs actual motives, and without losing itself in elevated pathos.

…In a comfortable way, the basic law of harmonies in Bettina Winkelmann’s paintings is more important that critical chaos.

…In an almost unrecognizable mix of planning and coincidence, BW succeeds in painting moving, but never disturbing, complex paintings, each having a colour melody, which expands the face itself.

Ulla Anker Jørgensen, Århus Stiftstidende, 1998

Bettina Winkelmann uses an abstract sign-like imagery…where the signs are reduced to clean lines and dots. Winkelmann is gifted with a sense of colours.

She is capable of playing on their harmonic scale as well as their contrasts, and she has a pronounced ability for formal balance in the rhythm of the face of the painting. She can spread elements, and still make the painting balance…

Alice Bergholdt Nielsen, Aalborg Stiftstidende, 15.04.1999

Immediately, BW’s paintings seem to be two-dimensional – the face and especially the contour lines are dominating. None the less, she manages to express both space and time – the third and fourth dimension.

BW’s motives are pitchers, flasks, glasses and bowls. It is obvious, that she works and experiments with the way the shapes of these motives affect each other. She uses them again and again in new compilations in her compositions.

The colour scheme varies from painting to painting, but there are similarities. If one lets oneself seduce and capture by one of her works, time stands still and you only sense the light and quiet moment of the painting.

Wümme-Zeitung, Bremen, 1997

BW works impulsively but not unrestrained. She is temperamental but also disciplined; her art is a mix between planning and coincidence, which is inimitable. Her work opens up new dimensions in painting.

Weserkurier, Bremen, 1999

Paintings by…. BW, where figurative motives are only suggested. The transparent colour mixes in different techniques are never dominant. These works, painted in many layers using time-consuming techniques, provide space for imagination.

Dansk Kunst, 2001

Winkelmann’s paintings are a sensitive game with delicate colours and suggested figures.

Knud Christian Jensen, Århus Stiftstidende, 2002

BW’s paintings are full of nuanced colour schemes, which are neither flashy nor dominating. Instead they appeal to the use of imagination and sense of colours.

Alice Bergholt Nielsen, Nordjyske Stiftstidende, 2004

…In reality, all the works could have been named ’Lied ohne Worte’ or ’Klangfarben’, as there is timbre and quiet music in her works. And BW really knows her colours. She is clearly very conscious about the effect of a tiny colour field in a complementary contrast colour on the rest of the colours of the painting and the painting as a whole. Big praise.

Anne Reinholdt, Jyllands-Posten, 2004

BW has a sense of the essence and the nuanced values of the colours. In her paintings, she chases the structures in the shapes that develop from the matter. She has exhibited in many cities around the world over the years.

Maria Vibe Olsen, Horsens Folkeblad, 2006

The paintings have a spiritual and meditative expression like a piece of music…

Henrik Broch-Lips, Århus Stiftstidende, 2007

…here you discover a painting by Bettina Winkelmann. This vibrating painting seems inspired by Islamic ornamentation and is filled with colour timbre and complementary contrasts.

Ulrike Erlacher-Dörfler, Badische Zeitung, 2008

Winkelmann’s paintings are playfulness at the highest level. She masters her themes in a playful and dancing manner. She manages to set up contrasts in relation to each other resulting in a grand effect.

Mogens Lyng, Randers Amtsavis, 2009

Bettina Winkelmann is an artist, who creates images out of colours and shapes using her unique visual talent. She uses very nuanced colours – especially yellows and blues, but also reddish shades, as we know them from nature. The colours are like tones in music.

Herning Folkeblad, 2009

BW is a poetic artist, who masters her craft with a rare fineness in terms of colour composition.

Rune Engelbreth Larsen, Politiken, 2011

There is ’something’ there, that gives the experience a certain dimension or quality, even the unmanageable part of the experience which has bigger and more indefinable value than the bare registered observation, that we perceive as the beauty.

Winkelmann’s works are visual poetry full of colourful insinuations and moods, hints of motives, figures and objects from every day life that bear the mark of something unmistakably Arabic, and yet universally time- and placeless.

The paintings immediately open up to the surplus of meaning to which the experience invites, when the eye catches the ’beauty’. ’If your mind is open, the artistic surplus of the world is also accessible’, as professor Dorthe Jørgensen formulates it.

Grethe Hagensen, Kunstavisen, 2011

…she has let herself inspire by the lines and shapes of the Islamic world ornamental decorative art. However, she does not just paint Islam as a single religion. On the contrary, she mixes cultural and religious impressions into a common human spirituality, which no religion has a patent on and that one is free to discover. The world is beautiful, and it is complex. That is what Bettina Winkelmann wants to show us.

Erik Meistrup, Kunstavisen, 2009

You meet Winkelmann’s large painting ’På Vej’ (240 x 300 cm), where a figure shows up and disappears in three stages. While coloured fields/staffs mark the anchorage of the painting in another time that the motive.

Winkelmann’s sympathetic insight in antiquity and conversion into modern day works, fits the museum beautifully, and at the same time, a transformation occurs that makes you experience the rooms in a different light…a beautiful and rewarding exhibition.

Erik Meistrup, Kunstavisen, 2020

Bettina Winkelmann is a painter, who has the ability and method to transform the private into something generic using a sketched outline to anonymize the figures making them appear as if they could be your family or mine.

Furthermore, she has her method of using coloured fields…so that the figures are anchored in a coloristic space, which in many ways becomes the approach to the painting, that we are lead towards. The colours make the paintings come alive, encase the figures and provide a sensation of depth in the paintings. A fine exhibition, with a high level of artistic quality.