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Lot 3424 - A199 PostWar & Contemporary - Thursday, 02. December 2021, 04.00 PM


(1923 Munich 1982)
Rot-Grüne Energie II. 1971.
Acrylic on canvas.
Signed, dated, titled and with directional arrow and inscribed on the reverse: ROT-GRÜNE ENERGIE 1971 ET.II Fruhtrunk oben haut.
80 × 80 cm.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed according to photo view by Walter Storms, Chairman Günter Fruhtrunk Gesellschaft e.V., Munich, September 2021.
We thank Mr. Storms for his kind support. This work will be included in the forthcoming additional volume of the catalogue raisonné.

- Galerie Teufel, Cologne (verso with the label).
- Private collection Switzerland.

"What is perceived visually does not draw us into 'another world', but through the process of seeing evolves into a state of constant becoming..." (Günter Fruhtrunk)

The work of Günter Fruhtrunk is one of those rare and at the same time ground-breaking stances of German post-war art. Inspired by the pioneers of abstraction, von Doesburg and Kandinsky, Fruhtrunk was convinced that nothing was more concrete or more real, than a line, a colour, a form, and that art should only have art itself as its content. His paintings are a conceptual exploration of those classical pictorial devices geared towards illusion: the relationship between figure and ground, the question of movement and light, as well as spatial depth.

In elongated bands of colour, alternating partly vertically, partly diagonally, the colour space extends beyond the edges of the picture. The strong contrasts and bright colours are firmly anchored in the two-dimensional, the parallel arrangement prevents any hierarchy of forms, and the rhythm of the diagonal stripes charges the pictures with an energy that reaches out to the viewer. In this way, the viewer is completely thrown back on the visual experience, on the pure presence of the image beyond mimetic imitation or content-based narrative structure.

"The effect of colour is my pictorial device, sensual energy, non-colour as energy, and in each case rhythmisation as the innermost principle of mental activity." (cit. Malsch, Friedemann (ed.): Günther Fruhtrunk. Farbe Rhythmus Existens, Ostfildern 2012, p. 7).

Born in Munich in 1923, it was Munich, where he taught at the academy of art from 1967 until the end of his life, which, along with Paris, was one of the most important places in his life.

He was encouraged from early on in his pursuit of abstraction by his encounters with Willi Baumeister and Julius Bissier in the late 1940s, as well as by his training with Fernand Léger and Jean Arp in Paris in the mid-1950s. Certainly another highlight was his participation in Documenta IV and the Venice Biennale in 1968, which reflected the international appreciation of his work translating the idea of Constructivism into a colour-intensive rhythmic pictorial world.

Scarred for life by injuries sustained during his military service in the Second World War, he took his own life in his studio in Munich in 1982. Günter Fruhtrunk was posthumously honoured in 1993 with a comprehensive retrospective at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Landesmuseum in Münster, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich.

CHF 30 000 / 50 000 | (€ 30 930 / 51 550)

Sold for CHF 97 900 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.