Artwork of the month June

Günter Fruhtrunk, Grosse Kadenz, 1972

Günter Fruhtrunk

*1923 in Munich, † 1982 in Munich

Grosse Kadenz, 1972

Acrylic and casein on canvas

190.4 x 265.6 cm
Acquired with funds from the Stiftung Freunde des Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

In Günter Fruhtrunk's early works from the 1950s, forms, which are restricted to straight and curved and later to elementary geometric shapes, are arranged in different alignments on the picture plane. Often these fields are set off from each other by color, thus creating a nonperspectival fore-and-back overlap.

In the Grosse Kadenz painting from 1972, on the other hand, every illusion of space has been negated. Instead of a composition of single elements, a structure is formed from diagonal stripes that allow no distinction between figure and ground. This pattern appears as potentially infinite; its ascending movement reaches beyond the limits of the picture plane. Even if – despite the large-scale format – what we see seems like an extract, its spatial extension evades our concrete mindset. Any search for symmetries, regularities or at least a starting point for a rational understanding of the image remains unsuccessful. Recognizable as a recurring structural element, the diagonal bands enter the picture in different widths and in a color environment that constantly changes. Via the con- trasts – which are additionally vitalized by fine lines between the stripes – even identical colors take on various tonal values.

An intellectual as also an optical challenge, a "provocation", as the art historian Max Imdahl expressed it in reference to such paintings. Fruhtrunk himself described the picture's effect as a rhythm: "In relation to its nature, rhythm eludes any appropriation by a concept or by enframement." Terms borrowed from music often turn up in Fruhtrunk's titles, highlighting the artist's acute awareness of language. If they at first connoted something technical, since the mid-1970s titles took on an existential theme by increasingly reflecting the relationship between individuals and the world that encompassed them.

<b>Günter Fruhtrunk, Grosse Kadenz, 1972
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.