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.
Meissen is a small town on river Elbe, famous for its porcelain manufacture. Svend Keller probably went there on a day trip from Chemnitz, where he was living at the time.
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.
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“:
The woolen weft is felted after the weaving in a special washing process she developed, resulting in partially irregular patterns. Some of the materials she designed for “Handweberei im Rosenwinkel”, also employ this technique (http://www.christinekeller.net/projects/works-for-handweberei-rosenwinkel/), most prominently the award-winning “Breeze” material shown in the picture at the top of the article.
The patterns resulting from the felting process have random elements, although they can be controlled to some extend…
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.
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…
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 Elbe Sandstone Mountains (Elbsandsteingebirge) is a landscape Svend Keller loved. Stretching along a section of the river Elbe on both sides of the Czech-German border, this range of sandstone mountains features a variety of rocks, some of them tower-like structures like the ones on this drawing. Svend Keller was fascinated by this area. He made several drawings showing rock formations of the area, so more of it is going to appear on this blog.
The drawing (probably charcoal and maybe pastel crayons, on paperboard) is dated to the second of August, 1949. The size is 21 cm x 31 cm.
People familiar with the area might be able to identify where exactly this drawing was made, but I don’t know. Here a contemporary photograph of the area, showing many rock towers like the ones on the drawing. This area is definitely worth a trip:
An undated and unsigned sketch by Rolf Keller, paper, about 13 cm x 18 cm. I am not quite sure about the material used here; he seems to have used some kind of black and grey crayon, maybe pastel.
I don’t know where and when he saw and sketched this little scene, maybe in the waiting room of a railway station or in a park. The style of the coats (like the line of buttons on the side instead of the middle of the woman’s coat) and of the hats and the long dress might give a hint at the time, but I am not an expert in the history of fashion. I can only guess that this drawing is from the 1930s.
What I find intriguing in this sketch is the economy of the strokes. In a way that is quite typical for some of Rolf Keller’s sketches, the essentials of the scene emerge from just a few fast, curved lines, suggesting arm rests of chairs, outlines and creases of coats, fur caps, muffs, facial expressions. In the case of the woman, several moments seem to have been captured: It looks like near the shoulder of the man, there is a sketch of her hand, with the opening of her sleeve, out of the muff. I imagine here gesticulating while talking, with her hand leaving and entering her muff repeatedly, while the man is listening in a skeptical or bored way.
The two figures overlap; maybe the artist wanted to retain more information this way or maybe he sketched them separately at different times, but they fit together well as a group.