Emil Schumacher - Blanco - image-1

Lot 605 D

Emil Schumacher - Blanco

Auction 1135 - overview Cologne
01.06.2019, 14:00 - Contemporary Art
Estimate: 120.000 € - 150.000 €

Emil Schumacher


Oil on canvas. 125 x 170 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Schumacher 85'. - Minor traces of age.

'The sensuality of colour is part of my driving force,' said the artist in 1992 (Michael Klant et al., Emil Schumacher im Gespräch, Der Erde näher als den Sternen, Stuttgart 1992, p.52). Emil Schumacher has undoubtedly been an outstanding figure in European painting since the 1950s. His paintings are characterised by a physically sensuous relationship between colour and mass. Broken up surfaces with overlapping layers of colour but also the gesture of ferocious aggression are the result of complicated processes, the physical damaging of surfaces is a basic theme, as an expression and as a form. As is the case with this large-format painting 'Blanco', the created structures of colour and shape associate nature and landscape; for the artist, they are essential sources of his inspiration in order to represent the invisible background without being bound to it. Schumacher's paintings seem like a reproduction of topographical experiments under the microscope, magnified umpteen times, transferred into large-format oil paintings, sometimes underlined by various materials and painting techniques. This results in compositions with gestural, eruptively superimposed streaks, deeply drawn traces scratched into the gesturally applied layer of paint, torn open trenches, seemingly geological faults of artistic islands in a sea of white spray. 'Colour and form, structures, and haptics pertain to my paintings. But the most essential thing is and remains the line.'(As annot.1, Schumacher im Gespräch p.55). Lines which do not draw their character from the function of the outline but which charge them with associations and which act as the 'result of successive decisions' (Schmalenbach) or as a 'snail trail' (Jens Christian Jensen). The line of the horizon, the line as a border, as an edge, as an aid to organise landscapes that appear geographical or to associate figurative memories. 'Many things manifest themselves in the line which are not so easily represented with colour [...] the line [is] an essential component of human expression,' Emil Schumacher states in an interview in 1992 (quoted in: Von künstlerischer Freiheit, Werkstattgespräch mit Christoph Brockhaus, in: Ernst-Gerhard Güse (ed.), Emil Schumacher, Leben in der Malerei, Gespräche und Texte, Ostfildern 2008, p.62).
Schumacher does not always title his works as specifically as he did here using the Spanish word 'Blanco'; these are often allusions to the content, as here the predominantly used white, which may thus refer to the light and the bright colours of the place of its creation: San José on Ibiza? The intensive sound of the dominant colour white accentuates the painting and its floating islands, which seem to lead out beyond the upper edge of the picture into an imaginary space above, behind, to the right or left of it. For Schumacher, an orientation towards a horizon is just as evident as one towards a tangible element. The colours transform into matter as if this were a matter of course and nevertheless mutate into an immaterial beauty as is the case here with the contrast of the red and brown island outlined in black on the ground of dominant white. A faint yellow and an inkling of azure emphasised by gestural lines forms the balancing accent of the luminous earth of this landscape that is most unusual for Emil Schumacher.



The present work is registered in the Emil-Schumacher-Stiftung, Hagen.


Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York (label and stamp verso); Galerie Hans Strelow, Dusseldorf; private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia


Locarno 1994 (Musei e cultura Pinacoteca comunale Casa Rusca), Emil Schumacher, exhib.cat., pp.166/167 with colour illus. (label verso)
Berlin 1988 (Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz), Dusseldorf 1989 (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen), Emil Schumacher, Späte Bilder, exhib.cat., p.112/113 with colour illus.