ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Otto Ritschl

Composition 70/21
© Otto Ritschl / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Otto Ritschl

Komposition 70/21 / Composition 70/21, 1970

Oil on canvas
130 × 97 cm

signed and dated on the reverse: Ritschl 70 Literature: Otto Ritschl, Das Gesamtwerk 1919-1972, p. 329, 1970/21
(RITSCO/M 24)

price upon request
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Since 1918, the former writer Otto Ritschl turns away from the activity of writing and begins to paint. His early paintings are alternately influenced by the then trends of Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism and his role models Oskar Kokoschka, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque, but he completely overcomes them at the latest since the late 1940s. In the 1950s he found his personal abstract painting style, based on geometric-constructivist forms. Around 1950 Ritschl met Ernst Wilhelm Nay, whose friendship he won. At the same time he was in closer contact with Max Ackermann. From then on, at the latest, color and its effect became increasingly important in Ritschl's works. The 1970 "Composition 70/21" shows a compositional style that departs from strict geometry. The flowing color fields, held in opaque, finely graded shades of red, are contrasted with the white of the stripes and the black of the lines, thus conveying a deep spatial sensation to the viewer. The painting presented here at the end of a development of "meditation paintings" begun in the 1960s, in which monochrome color fields that seem to float are enriched by harmonious color modulations and graphic elements.
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