Artwork of the month November

Gotthard Graubner, Lichter Körper, 1968, Hilti Art Foundation

Gotthard Graubner

* 1930 in Erlbach, † 2013 in Neuss, Germany

Lichter Körper, 1968

Foam cushion on canvas, covered with Perlon and painted
100 x 100 x 12 cm

Hilti Art Foundation

Gotthard Graubner's artistic interests were focused primarily on organic life processes. When he did take note of subject matter, for instance, of a tree or a human gure, his attention was not directed primarily toward contour or shape but rather toward the sense of movement and space that emanates from within the organism. This is veri ed by his own statements, for instance, that we cannot apprehend a tree unless we begin with the roots; or, it is not the shape of a tree but rather its growth that is of signi cance. Growth as such is, of course, invisible and therefore beyond representation. Nonetheless, it does find a correspondence in the artistic process where it can be traced sensually and conceptually in each and every work. Graubner's remarks and emphasis on becoming rather than being re ect the genetic nature of his perception or, to put it differently, he is motivated by an interest in probing the origins of organic life from inside out.

Gotthard Graubner's choice of materials such as paper and cardboard, taffeta and nylon, sponge and cotton, eece and canvas, pigment and binder reveals the perception of the organic life that he sought to render in his art. His investigations led to watercolours and gouaches, to his "cushion paintings" and "paint bodies" as well as the "colour-space bodies" that he made from the early 1970s until his death, giving physically tangible, visual shape, through abstraction and reduction, to his understanding of organic nature and especially the human body.

Lichter Körper (Luminous Body), a tenuously physical visual object that might be described as a cell, visible under a protective membrane, is seen against the background of the barely visible bipolar aura that it has itself generated as if to indicate the division of a still compact "cell body" and, hence, growth. Light, which might be said to be the primary cause of this growth, weaves in and out of the membrane which is as vulnerable as it is protective, producing on and beyond its surface gradations of white so fragile and delicate that they fade into immateriality.

Uwe Wieczorek

<b>Gotthard Graubner, Lichter Körper, 1968, Hilti Art Foundation</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.