Oil on canvas. 80 x 80 cm. Framed. The canvas verso signed, dated and titled 'Robert Rotar Rotation grün 10 - 1 - 68'. - With a small, professionally repaired tear.
'Rotar had already began working with the theme of the spiral during his carpentry apprenticeship in Geesthacht from 1947 to 1949, one which he would deal with, in drawing and painting, his whole life. The first spiral pictures, which Rotar produced with the help of a technical instrument, were made in 1950 on the rotating disc of a record player. After numerous experiments, Rotar developed a full and semi-automatic controllable painting machine, which he had patented in 1967.
The machine was constructed of a board onto which the canvas was horizontally fixed and set spinning by an electric motor with the help of a fan belt and a cog. With a foot pedal, Rotar was able to regulate the speed in semi-automatic mode. He placed a paintbrush at the centre point of the canvas and pulled it in a straight line to the outer edge whilst the picture support was rotating. At the same time, he applied the brush with paint with the other hand, or used a pen or ink instead of a brush. This resulted in a continuous, swift, and unreproducible painting process of diverse spirals of a thick, glazed, delicately transparent or strong lineal art. Depending upon the speed of rotation of the canvas and the speed at which the line was pulled by the artist, the thickness of the spiral lines varied. Particularly in the early spirals, Rotar used the centrifugal force as the shaping element, and verbalised in 1969: 'I paint spirals of all forms. I am fascinated by their formation through the centrifulgal force. As with the theory of relativity, I use the phenomenon of time in conjunction with the rotation as the fourth coordinate in space. Whilst I subjectively join two fixed points together, the spiral tendancy becomes visible.' (Stiftung Museum Schoss Moyland et al (ed.), Rotar, Kosmos und Kosmologie, exhib.cat. Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau 2009, p.15).
The present work is to be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné by Ingrid Skiebe, Düsseldorf, under the number G 402
Bedburg-Hau 2009/2010 (Musuem Schloss Moyland), Rotar - Kosmos und Kosmologie, exhib.cat.no.21, p.31 with colour illus.