Artwork of the month June

Ferdinand Kriwet, BLEISTIFT-TEXT NR. 8 (PENCIL TEXT No. 8), 1976

Ferdinand Kriwet

*1942 in Düsseldorf


Pencil on coated canvas


"For me, language is never a pretext for form. I was originally a writer and in fact I may be a writer more now than I was then in the sense that now I really use writing and don't just set it down in a book", said Ferdinand Kriwet in an interview in 1970. His rst book, Rotor, was published in 1961, a continuous text without any capitalisation or punctuation, a novel innocent of any plot. For his pictorial works, in contrast, he turned letters, syllables and words themselves into artistic material, following the lead of concrete poetry,

There they become elements of a sign game on the borderlines of linguistic conveyance of meaning. While the early poem paintings (1964–68), for example, present compositions of fragments of words and sentences in different typefaces and colours, alignments and degrees of distortion to create expressive large formats, in the Pencil Texts Kriwet experiments exclusively with variations on overlapping and intersecting. With the format and support material of a painting, the drawing PENCIL TEXT No. 8 has the appearance of a detail of a potentially in nite two-dimensional structure formed from the outlines of a few repeating capital letters. Arranged in serried lines, the characters overlap on the horizontal axis, and where the contours of several separate letters coincide, the line becomes thicker and adds a sense of rhythm to the whole. The linear, legible text has morphed into a mesh or thing woven (Lat. "textus") that can only be experienced by way of seeing.

But Kriwet has not by any means focused on writing and its pictorial quality alone. For his Hörtexte (audio texts), for example, he processed acoustic material from the radio and television to create auditory collages which, in turn, were broadcast on radio programmes. Kriwet also gained particular recognition as a pioneer of media art for his multimedia installations and events such as Mixed Media, a combination of text, lm, and sound elements which premièred in 1968.

<b>Ferdinand Kriwet, BLEISTIFT-TEXT NR. 8 (PENCIL TEXT No. 8), 1976</b>
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.