Marwan - Untitled (Kopf)
Tempera on canvas. 195 x 260 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Marwan 75,76'.
'In many of the large “head” paintings, done in 1973 and after, there occur ecstatic battles of color - twining masses of ribbons, strokes and dots, done in intoxicated, twitching brushwork. Interwoven colors determine the three-dimensional shuttlelike motion in the loom of the painting. Nothing more is to be seen of perspective, not even by way of allusion. The painting becomes a color-space fabric of pure movement, which seems to leave the single blows of color in place only for a moment, as if the light were constantly changing, producing an effect of shimmering transparence.
As viewers, we are experiencing the result of an extremely physical painting process, in which Marwan occasionally paints with the balls of his thumbs and his fingers in an ecstacy comparable in its intensity to an orgasm. The act of painting is experienced full of exploding, exciting zest like a dance into which one flings oneself with hallucinated abandon: a flight of all the senses in which Marwan existentially includes himself. In these paintings, happiness coexists with terror and in the heat of momentary unification life teems with death. Realistic form is completely destroyed; form here is a pure event of color and light while a ripe sensuosity clings to the “face” become a grid, optimistic with dread, anxious with tenderness, suffering its knowledge of redemption.
Marwan is obsessed by faces because for him they are a means of expressing the dramatic depth of life. I do not know any artist anywhere who to such an extent has adopted the head, the monumentalized head, as practically his only theme, in which the world can be laid bare and last question put into painting. It is understandable, given our age, that Marwan does not indicate any ideals. He reveals conditions and experiences. It is important to keep in mind that in his paintings human beings are never presented whole - they are always fragmentarily corresponding to the symbolics of concealment or of emptiness.' (Jörn Merkert, Marwan, Ausst.Kat. Museum of Modern Art Bagdad, Berlin 1980, p.6)'
Galerie Timm Gierig, Frankfurt/M.; private collection, Europe
Mannheim 1976 (Multihalle im Herzogenriedpark), Deutscher Künstlerbund, Jahresausstellung (with label verso)
Darmstad 1984 (Kunsthalle), Marwan, exhib.cat.no.26, p.111 with colour illus.
Frankfurt/M.1999/2000 (Galerie Timm Gierig), Deutschland-Ost, Deutschland-West, 10 Jahre danach, Kunstwerke davor, exhib.cat., table of colours 23