Artwork of the month November

Gerhard Hoehme, Gequollenes Blatt, 1962

Gerhard Hoehme

* 1920 in Greppin near Dessau, † 1989 in Neuss, Germany

Gequollenes Blatt, 1962

Oil, Indian ink and pencil on cardboard on canvas
100 × 65 cm

Contemporary Art Foundation

Lines in pencil and Indian ink on a layer of oil color give the impression of movement, rhythm and potentially of dance. They are traces of the painting process, the gestures of the German informal artist Gerhard Hoehme. What is meant by informal is an artistic attitude common to those representing different abstract currents of the 1950's. They turned away from the dominating geometric abstraction and no longer composed towards a preconceived result, but instead let dynamic processes become visible in their pictures.

Here and there the ocher ground layer shows through: The swollen paper stretched across the canvas appears. The contrast between the warm background tone and the cold grey with its shifting darkness enhances the sense of space created by the layer-by- layer application of paint. Here perspective illusion is unnecessary to that end. Hoehme repeatedly dealt with the subject of visual space in his work. By his own account he was decidedly influenced by his years as fighter pilot during World War ll. The view from a distance strengthened his perception of structure, but at the same time shaped a specific spacial experience where horizon and thus the perspective view lost their importance.

At the center of his work is moreover his exploration of color and its principles: He investigated "its flowing and growing, its matter and structure" as shown in this work with its different treatment of painting mediums. For him, colors are energies, signals, moments in time, significances, but too, erasures. Similarly diversified is his understanding of seeing, which for him essentially contains a component of "putting oneself in relationship to". For Hoehme, the actual image arises when the viewer puts himself in relationship to the work and experiences its effect on his/her awareness and sensing.

Marion Malin

<b>Gerhard Hoehme, Gequollenes Blatt, 1962</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.