ART COLOGNE / 54th International Art Market, Cologne

January 18 61
© Julius Bissier / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Julius Bissier

18. Januar 61 / January 18 61, 1961

Egg oil tempera on linen
20 × 23,5 cm

signed and dated upper right: Jules Bissier 18. January 61
(BISSIJ/M 79)

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With his signature and especially the dates always noted on his paintings, Julius Bissier draws attention on the one hand to the gesture of creation, and on the other hand to the significance of the moment. Hardly any other artist has been able to unfold such a mysterious, ambiguous and highly complex pictorial language with such a minimalist formal repertoire as he has: abstract-geometric and amorphous surfaces are compositionally placed in a dialectical relationship to concrete forms, which, as in this work, resemble a stamp or - to the right of it - a manikin. The impression of a thinghood is further reinforced by Bissier's addition of delicate lines to the anthropomorphic figure. In addition, there are ciphered signs that can be stylized into symbolic structures (wheel, cross), that take up traces or are formulated into cryptic or actual letters - like the inverted "T", which in Bissier's work also stands for the "Tao". For all their complexity, the forms and abbreviations in Bissier's work float in a poetic-irreal clarity before the eyes of the viewer, whom they are able to attract magically.
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