ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Walter Stöhrer

Mara VII
© Walter Stöhrer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Walter Stöhrer

Mara VII, 1972/73

Mixed media on canvas
208 × 190 cm

signed and dated upper right: 72/73 Stöhrer; on the reverse signed upper right: W. Stöhrer; label inscribed by another hand
(STOEHRW/M 21)

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Literature: Walter Stöhrer. Catalog raisonné of paintings 1957-1999, Berlin 2008 (cat. no. 73.9).

The painting Mara from 1972/73 is unusually painterly for Walter Stöhrer. The figurative signs - a phallic motif and skull-like apparitions - are integrated into the color environment or recede behind the brushwork, as do the implied scriptural-linear elements, while the drawing sells itself flatly or flickers erratically across the canvas. The painting itself is applied in a more multilayered manner than in other works, resembling in brushwork the paintings of the CoBrA painters rather than Stöhrer's otherwise typical "pictorial physiologies." The title of the painting could refer to a female first name, but it could also be seen as a reference to the Buddhist deity of love and death-it is precisely in this disparate dual nature that the reference would have been enticing to Stöhrer. Such a view would also explain the visible struggle for the painterly presence of the layers of color, which formally occupy and displace each other.
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