Occasionally, I am going to reblog posts from artists I find remarkable. I want to start with Emitt Kyle, an artist born in the UK and living in Taiwan, who produces abstract paintings I find quite stunning.
The paintings shown on this post remind me of deep space photographs of galaxies. There is a lot of small scale structure and a little bit of large scale structure and little in between, like a sound with high frequency noise and some deep bass. In the series of paintings shown on his blog, it looks like the artist is trying to investigate the “edge of minimality”, bit by bit dissolving the large scale structures to find out how little structure you can have and still get an aesthetic effect. Besides this, these paintings have something mysterious, where structures disappear in the haze. Hard to describe, simple and complex at the same time. I like these paintings very much.
A sketch by Svend Keller, colored crayon or chalk (?) on card bord, dated 6th Autust 1949.
If I am not mistaken, the church is the Hofkirche in Dresden. I don’t know if this sketch was actually made in Dresden or if it is based on a photograph.
Dresden was heavily bombarded in February 1945. According to one estimates, between 22.700 and 25.000 people died.
I was born in Hamburg and I live in Cologne. Like Dresden, both of these cities were largely destroyed by area bombing. Here in Cologne, there is a hill in the middle of the city, planted with trees, actually a nice park. It consists of the rubble of the buildings destroyed in the bombardments.
In my view, any bombarding of civilians has to be regarded as a crime of war and a crime against humanity. Moreover, in Dresden, a city that had an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, invaluable works of architecture and art where destroyed. Germans committed incredible atrocities in this war, but I think this does not justify atrocities as a response. A crime does not justify another crime.
And such things are still happening. There is still war, because of nationalistic or religious or other ideologies or greed for power and riches.
Let me finish this post with the translation of an excerpt of a letter one of my aunts (Martha Schröder) received from one of her girlfriends (Gretchen Sievers, nee Rubach), from September 19th, 1949, in Hamburg, a historical document never published before, where the writer describes how she survived one of the attacks on Hamburg..
Then came the second night of attacks on the 27th/28th. Liselotte had night watch. H.-R. [Hans-Reimer] and I had planned to sleep at Gertrud Riege’s place because the apartment was so tight, but because or Lieselotte’s night watch, we abandoned this plan. Areal mines, explosive bombs, fire bomgs, phosphorous canisters destroyed several quarters completely, so that only sporadically a house was left over, and this way it also happened with us. Immediately at the beginning we were submerged. After the planes had finally left, Hans-Reimer searched for the emergency exit and cleared it. Upstairs in the production shop there was fire behind us and in front of us there was the shower of sparks into which we had to go out. Gretchen and I left our suitcases behind and held our handbags even more tightly. We had lost our nerve for a moment and did not believe that we would get our suitcases along with us through the junk and the shower or sparks. Later we regretted it but had to laugh about ourselves and about our enormous “bravery”. H.-R. then brought us under the pillar or the bridge and took us, after a moment, behind the refrigerator wagons at the canal. Then he checked if the toilet under [the street] Heidenkampsweg was open and took us there. A wet blanket was held before the entrance so that the sparks would not fly inside. The whole night, H.-R. stood in the canal up to his neck to scoop water with a bucket with which we as well were doused from time to time inside the toilet so that some oxygen could come inside. Inside we were about 50 women and 4 – 5 children. The men were lying tightly together at the canal and poured water over themselves. Many also sought refuge inside the refrigerator wagons. From 8 o’clock the fire fighters helped, but they themselves were at the end of their strength. Around 10 o’clock, we could finally come out.
Dann kam die 2. Angriffsnacht vom 27./28. Liselotte hatte Nachtwache. H.-R. und ich hatten wegen der Enge in unserer Wohnung bei Gertrud Riege schlafen wollen, sahen wegen Liselottes Nachtwache aber noch davon ab. Luftminen, Spreng- und Brandbomben, Phosphorkanister machten ja verschiedene Stadtteile gänzlich kaputt, sodaß nur ganz vereinzelt ein Haus stehen blieb und so ging es bei uns auch. Gleich zu Beginn waren wir verschüttet. Nachdem die Flieger endlich fort waren, suchte Hans-Reimer den Notausstieg und räumte ihn frei. Oben im Produktionsladen brannte es hinter uns und vor uns war der Funkenregen, in den wir hinaussollten. Gretchen und ich ließen unsere Koffer stehen und hielten unsere Handtaschen umso fester. Wir hatten für ein paar Minuten die Nerven verloren und glaubten nicht, dass wir unsere Koffer durchs Gerümpel und durch den Feuerregen mitbekämen. Später haben wir es bereut, mussten aber doch über uns selbst lachen und über unsere enorme „Tapferkeit“. H.-R. brachte uns dann unter die Brückenpfeiler und holte uns nach einem Augenblick hinter die Kühlwagen am Kanal. Dann sah er nach, ob die Toilette unterm Heidenkampsweg offen ist und holte uns dahin. Vor den Eingang wurde eine nasse Decke gehalten, damit die Funken nicht hineinflogen. H.-R. stand die ganze Nacht bis am Hals im Kanal und schöpfte mit einem Eimer Wasser, womit auch wir in der Toilette von Zeit zu Zeit übergossen wurden, damit etwas Sauerstoff hineinkam. Wir waren drinnen etwa 50 Frauen und 4 – 5 Kinder. Die Männer lagen eng aneinander am Kanal und begossen sich selbst. Auch in die Kühlwagen flüchteten viele. Ab 8 Uhr half die Feuerwehr, aber die war selbst am Ende ihrer Kraft. Um 10 Uhr endlich konnten wir hinaus.
 Transcribed by my mother and translated by myself. This letter was part of a larger corpus of letters, mostly from my aunt, her mother and other relatives, that my mother transcribed. The original of this particular letter was returned to the family of the writer.
Today, the artist Karl Otto Götz is celebrating his 100th birthday.
You can find the very interesting oficial page of K. O. Götz here.
A list of ongoing or planned exhibitions is here.
You can find an article I have written about him last year here.
Actually, there are lots of articles at the moment. I cannot link them all, at least not directly.
Watch the painter painting (1964, without sound):
About the current exhibition in Berlin:
(The picture above is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GivernyExIV.jpg)
A watercolor painting by Svend Keller (watercolor and pencil on cardbord, 15 cm x 20.4 cm, signed and dated first of August, 1948. Caption: “Meißen”). In this watercolor again, a preparatory drawing with pencil was used. The color tests at the top of the picture would have disappeared under a passe-partout.
Wine has been grown in this area for about 850 years. The area depicted here is a little bit out of town. The left part of this picture seems to match this picture I found on the web: https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/60202318. The place is a little bit upstream from Meissen. If I am not mistakent, the mountain we are looking at is called “Bosselspitze”. If I am identifying the place correctly, it would be approximately here.
Originally posted on The Asifoscope:
I like hand-made things and I like textile art. Besides my interest in abstract art, one reason for this is probably that my sister Christine Keller, now living and working in New Zealand, is a textile designer and weaver.
Since I like abstract art with partially irregular forms, the textiles that especially appeal to my taste are the things she creates using a combination of weaving and felting. A relatively early example of this is her ”Golden Scarf“:
In a few days, Karl Otto Götz will be celebrating his 100th birthday, Congratulations!
This is reason enough for me to reblog my article about him from last year. I have added a few interesting links to the article.
Originally posted on The Asifoscope:
Karl Otto Götz is one of my favorite painters. He is one of the main exponents in Germany of the “Informel”, the European counterpart to the American Abstract Expressionism. As an arts professor at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, he also was a teacher of several important artists, including, for example, Gerhard Richter.
Should you be in, or travel to, Berlin between December this year to March next year, you can take the opportunity to visit an exhibition showing works of Götz in Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin from December 13th 2013 to March 2nd, 2014. Don’t miss it if you have the opportunity! I hope I won’t (the exhibition is travelling to Duisburg afterwards, which is nearer to where I live, so I am going to see it there; see the link to Götz’s home page below, there is a list of exhibitions and there are several of them)! During the time of that exhibition, on 22nd of February 2014, Götz will, hopefully, celebrate his 100th birthday. The picture above, created in 2012, shows that, even at such an advanced age (and even largely blind), an artist can still be productive, and produce great works.
An undated drawing of Schloss Rochlitz. 12 cm x 16,5 cm, pencil and pastel crayons on paper. The inscription on the passe-parout reads “Schloss Rochlitz” (Rochlitz Castle). The drawing is unsigned, but by the style it can be attributee to Rolf Keller.
Rochlitz is a small town, about 35 Kilometers north of Chemnitz, on the Mulde river, a tributary of the river Elbe. I don’t know when this drawing was made but I guess it is from the 1950s. Probably Rolf Keller went to Rochlitz on a day trip.
Here is a contemporary picture of the castle.
The castle was built in several stages between the 10th and the 16th century. In the 19th century, it was a prison. Today, there is a museum inside.
(The photograph is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rochlitz_-_Blick_von_der_Mulde_zum_Schloss_(02-3).jpg)