Online exhibition

Otto Ritschl / From the claim of color

The painter Otto Ritschl (1885-1976), born in Erfurt, recorded his first successes as a playwright during World War I and was celebrated in the press as the "hope of German comedy. However, under the impression of the social collapse at the end of the war and due to his attitude trained on Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and theosophy, Ritschl switched to painting around 1918/19. The artistic autodidact initially oriented himself on the New Objectivity, later on Picasso's playful style, before developing his own style past Willi Baumeister, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Georg Meistermann. This came to the fore most strongly in the middle of the 20th century, in which Ritschl found a completely independent, singular pictorial language, which, in the most diverse color tones, joined the various currents of European abstract painting. The "monumental dematerialization" (Kurt Leonhard) approaches, distantly, an increasingly contourless color mysticism, which takes extreme positions, but never falls into a spiritual narrowness. The exhibition is dedicated to these decisive decades, in which the work of Otto Ritschl, incorporating Zen Buddhist thought, unfolds a visionary power.

The balance of Ritschl's compositions is always based on a structuring order. Color areas interlock to large-scale rhythmic formal gestures or they unfold in pulsating vibrations. Spatial references can be made sporadically and without contextual connections, but they elude any depth: the dialogue of the pictorial elements takes place solely on the surface, which is "completely formed" and "no longer shows the duality of ground and forms lying on it" (Ritschl). At the same time, he also denies any "material, spatial or atmospheric" coloring of an as-if, that is, a color design developed or oriented on the object - abstract form is and remains autonomous for Otto Ritschl.
Schloss Dätzingen / D-71120 Grafenau
T + 49 (0) 70 33 / 4 13 94
F + 49 (0) 70 33 / 4 49 23
Opening hours
Wednesday – Friday 11 – 18.30
Saturday 11 – 16
or by appointment
Kleiner Schlossplatz 11 / D-70173 Stuttgart
T + 49 (0) 711 / 120 41 51
F + 49 (0) 711 / 120 42 80
Opening hours
Tuesday – Friday 11 – 19
Saturday 11 – 17
or by appointment

Galerie Schlichtenmaier
Youtube Kanal
de | en