Willi Baumeister - Scherzo (Riesen Abschied I)

Willi Baumeister - Scherzo (Riesen Abschied I) - image-1
Willi Baumeister - Scherzo (Riesen Abschied I) - image-1

Willi Baumeister

Scherzo (Riesen Abschied I)

Oil on carton, partially scratche Kunstharz, Spachtelkitt 46 x 54 cm upper right Baumeister 7.48

In his monograph (1963) about the life and work of Willi Baumeister, Will Grohmann classified the artist's 'Scherzo' - despite its musical title - as part of a group started in 1946 called 'Urzeitgestalten' (Primaeval Forms) to which the 'Giants' also belong. Grohmann did so to provide a better overview. Many of the artist's work groups displayed chronological overlaps, and several compositional schemes were interlinked. The title of 'Giants' Farewell I' alludes to a mythical concept, so that it is epic in character despite its freely improvised composition. In the upper part of the picture we can recognize the motif of the 'Giant' paintings as a picture within the picture, however the motif has been diminished in size so that it seems to be disappearing. The title indicates that it is about the 'Giants' Farewell'. On the other hand, the defining elements of this painting are the lines - some of them in two colours set against brown and white, others dotted, embedded within colour zones and thus enlivened, but also toned down in their graphic impact. The areas of colour on a sand-coloured background are left deliberately without lustre. The picture shows that Baumeister drew on the abundance of his artistic ideas and experiences. Each symbol appears like a hieroglyph that cannot be decoded without knowing the key. The treatment of the surface was particularly important to the artist. He used gesso modelled into a relief resp. at the bottom of the painting he ploughed a comb pattern into the surface. This bottom area creates a visual space consisting of a foreground and a background and opening up a simple abstract three-dimensional quality, without using representational starting points. Overall the painting seems relatively bright, as Baumeister wanted to express his pleasure that the war had come to an end. The paintings he created during these post-war years were marked by a generally cheerful attitude to life. They display a free interplay of shapes, with a mutual interdependence of rest and movement.

Catalogue Raisonné

1320 Beye/F. Baumeister; Grohmann 961 (dort als "1


Else Bitter, Bielefeld; Lempertz Auction 607, 4 June 1985, lot 51; private collection, Rhineland

Lot 226 D

50.000 € - 60.000 €

67.100 €