ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Winfred Gaul

Brush font
© Winfred Gaul / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Winfred Gaul

Pinsel-Schrift / Brush font, 1960

Oil on canvas
120 × 90 cm

signed, dated and inscribed on the reverse: Gaul 1960 15-9-60 "brush writing".
(GAULW/M 11)

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Literature: Lothar Romain (ed.) / Winfred Gaul: Winfred Gaul. Catalog raisonné of paintings and works on paper. 1949-1961, vol. I, Düsseldorf 1991, no. G 271, ill. p. 127; with large color ill. p. 77

Shortly after Winfred Gaul became known to an international audience with his informal paintings at documenta II in Kassel in 1959, he consistently departed from this gestural art movement. His so-called "Wischbilder" of 1959/60, which are free of associative narrative elements and spontaneous gestures, and the almost monochrome paintings of 1961 herald a new phase in his work. Gaul is not interested in the pictorial content, but exclusively in the pictorial means and the formal conclusions to be derived from them, as he himself writes: "From this point of view, the idea was perhaps obvious to link writing as language and drawing as language, to let one arise from the other, to transform words into lines and lines into words, in other words to engage in a kind of alchemy. [...] At no time was I interested in illustrating linguistic meanings. What mattered to me was the process of writing, which is basically nothing other than a codified form of drawing and scribbling." The painting "Pinsel-Schrift" from 1960, together with his group of works "Farbmanuskripte" (Color Manuscripts) impressively shows how individually he deals with the elements of writing. Gaul writes further: "A text is written, crossed out, rewritten, added to, overwritten, overdrawn. Words are accentuated or lost in the jungle of the illegible. Writing is covered with writing. Legible things give signals, illegible things force the eye to read. Writing and scribbles form a densely matted undergrowth in which the eye wanders, is stopped, irritated, and redirected."
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