ARTISTS / Contemporary art
Friedemann Hahn

Van Gogh
© Friedemann Hahn / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Friedemann Hahn

Van Gogh, 1989

Oil on canvas
80 × 65 cm

signed and dated on the reverse: Rooster 89
(HAHNF/M 2)

€ 10.000
previous work
17 / 17
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The theme "Van Gogh" has accompanied Friedemann Hahn for a long time - the present painting dates from 1989 and shows an expressive head in three-quarter profile. It is obvious that this is not a portrait that can be historically recreated, nor is it a homage to a forefather of modern color painting. It is rather a painterly experience: out of an angry brushstroke a face makes its way onto the canvas, its green-yellow face contrasting with the red hair. Friedemann Hahn's paintings sometimes more, sometimes less approach gestural abstraction, but the painter expressly needs "a framework of content so as not to slide into the arbitrariness of a mere gesture." The motif is thus primarily a means to an end, yet it is significant that among the painter's pictures, the delusional Vincent van Gogh in particular dominates alongside the aging Claude Monet. In some of these works, the image of the painter alternates with the portrait of Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh's impersonator, as a deliberate blending of fiction and authenticity that granted the painter a freedom in dealing with a reality that was broken in many ways. Here, incidentally, Hahn's work meets the Van Gogh reminiscences of Francis Bacon. Both transformed the portrait of the Dutchman into a time and space elevated face that is documentation, interpretation, epitome of painting and self-reflection in one, which is also indicated by the occasional designation "Head after van Gogh" within the series.
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