ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Winfred Gaul

Untitled (Earths and Minerals II)
© Winfred Gaul / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Winfred Gaul

Ohne Titel (Erden und Minerale II) / Untitled (Earths and Minerals II), 1956

Sand, varnish, minerals on hard fiber
132 × 103 cm

signed lower right: Gaul; on the reverse signed, dated and inscribed: Gaul 1956 132 /103 /1956
(GAULW/M 35)

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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 83, ill. p. 103

The early work "Erden und Minerale II" (Earths and Minerals II) from 1957 belongs to Winfred Gaul's Informel-influenced work period. His search for new expressive possibilities is evident in his use of unusual materials. As the title of this work suggests, he used sand and oxides to achieve this unique pictorial result. Countless bundles of parallel lines in pastel colors litter the pictorial space in a diagonal direction and condense in the center of the picture. Deeper layers shimmer through the thickly applied layers of color. The linear principle of form appears repeatedly in Gaul's work. In later phases of his work, too, he returned to artistic investigations of lines and their expressive possibilities. In his diary, Gaul comments on his "aversion to the brush as the classical tool of the painter [...] and to oil paint". Further, he states, reflecting on the cuts in the Third Reich: "Hence our preference for coarse materials and unfamiliar painting utensils [...]. We knew ugliness better than beauty [...]. No wonder we maltreated the paint, that we preferred to dig in the mud and in the earth, that we 'loaded' the paint with sand, with minerals and other fillers and tried to make it 'unhandy'". No more aptly can the group of paintings "Earths and Minerals" be described, in which Gaul creates material images with painterly gesture to arrive at the complex pictorial structure.
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