ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Walter Stöhrer

Syntax is a faculty of the soul
© Walter Stöhrer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Walter Stöhrer

Syntax ist ein Vermögen der Seele / Syntax is a faculty of the soul, 1976

Mixed media on canvas
180 × 160 cm

signed and dated lower right: Stöhrer 76

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Provenance: Gallery Rothe, Heidelberg; private property
Exhibitions: Galerie und Edition Rothe, Walter Stöhrer. New paintings, gouaches, graphic art. Heidelberg 1977

The collaged newspaper clipping is based on a photo of Leni Riefenstahl.

Hanne Forstbauer/Ilka Merkert/Almuth Kunisch/Sabine Behrens,Walter Stöhrer, catalog raisonné of paintings 1957-1999, Berlin 2008, No. 76.35

Walter Stöhrer is one of the rebellious mavericks of German art. He himself coined the term "intrapsychic realism" for his work, which is difficult to place in an art-historical category. Characteristic is the combination of the abstract and the representational, the unconscious and the calculated. In the mixed media work created in 1976, for which Stöhrer chose the title "Syntax ist ein Vermögen der Seele" ("Syntax is a faculty of the soul") alluding to the philosophy of language, the drawing forms the framework into which dynamically applied color fields and (top left) a photograph are built. His color visions unfold on the picture surface with both extreme sensitivity and almost brutal vehemence - precisely calculated, but nevertheless incorporating chance. Lettering, photography, broad swaths of color, thinner streams of color, ciphers and lineaments combine to form an impressive overall picture. Stöhrer's work unites energy fields, overlaps, combinations as well as confrontations, which live out their forces liberated in the painting process. The equally fascinating, but also disturbing aesthetics of this mixed technique shows Stöhrer as an unmistakable painter personality. As one of the few visual artists, the well-read Stöhrer transfers the literary style form of the so to speak mental "stream of cons-ciousness" (stream of consciousness) to painting - visibly implemented in the Sytax picture, for example, in the far-reaching blue color flow.
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