Karl Otto Götz - Untitled (9.5.1954)
Karl Otto Götz
Mixed media on canvas. 81 x 100 cm. Framed. Signed 'K. O. GÖTZ'. Signed and dated 'K. O. GÖTZ 9.5.1954' verso on canvas. - Minor traces of age.
From the surrealist-abstract figures modeled after Max Ernst and Willi Baumeister which coined his early work, Karl Otto Götz arrived in the early 1950s at an independent, autonomous informal language. With the use of a very fluid mixed method technique with casein paint and the semi-automatic operating principle of the surrealists, the artist reached a completely new and free pictorial solution. The rapid, gestural work after previous meditation enabled the creation of autonomous networks of curves, streaks and drop; the forms dissolve; chance and intuition determine the picture. The merging brush and squeegee marks conserve the breathless dynamic of the creation process, the viewer's gaze involuntarily follows the rapid movements. Despite their transparency and complexity, the works created since 1952 no longer have a defined picture foreground or background. Götz does not expressly aim for a spatial effect. His compositions refer to nothing but itself yet still evoke the visualisation of physical phenomena, of air currents, flight paths, turbulence, explosions. In fact, since 1954 his works are based on various, vague pictorial schemata that steer the semi-automatic work in certain directions.
Like his painter colleague Bernard Schultze, from 1950, Götz travelled regularly to Paris, then the centre of European avant-garde. The works of international Informel artists such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Guiseppe Capogrossi and Georges Mathieu exhibited in the Parisian galleries had an overwhelming effect on Götz and Schultze and would be groundbreaking for their artistic development. In the years to come, Götz would make a significant contribution to German-French art relations. 1954, the year the present work was created, marks a milestone in his artistic career with the organisation by the Parisian Galerie Creuze of his first elaborately initiated solo exhibition and which would be lauded a great success for the artist.
Ina Ströher, Karl Otto Götz, Werkverzeichnis, vol.1, Cologne 2014, cat.rais.no. 1953-57 (with erroneous title and dimensions)
Galleria L'Attico, Rome (labels verso); private collection, Hesse
Karl Otto Götz, Erinnerungen und Werk, vol.1a, Dusseldorf 1983, cat.no.688, p.610 with colour illus.
Dresden 1994 (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Albertinum Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister), Karl Otto Götz, Malerei 1935-1993, exhib.cat.no.21, p.217, p.97 with illus.
Rome 1982 (Galleria L'Attico), Informale tedesco anni '50. Buchheister, Götz, Hoehme, Schultze, Hiltmann, exhib.cat.no.10, n.pag. with illus.
Rome 1962 (Galleria L'Attico), Karl Otto Götz, exhib.cat., n.pag. with illus.