ART COLOGNE / 54th International Art Market, Cologne

Study of the brush examiner
© Oskar Schlemmer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Oskar Schlemmer

Studie zum Pinselprüfenden / Study of the brush examiner, 1941

Oil on cardboard
25,5 × 20 cm

on the reverse inscribed: Brush examiner to painter scene Schlemmer 1941

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Provenance: Collection Heinz Rasch, Wuppertal; Private collection Baden-Württemberg

Literature: Karin v. Maur: Oskar Schlemmer. Vol. II. OEuvrekatalog der Gemälde, Aquarelle, Pastelle und Plastiken, Munich 1979, G 428, fig. p. 145 (mistakenly under no. G 430); Ausst.Kat. Schlemmer. Baumeister. Krause. Wuppertal 1937-1944, Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal, 1979, no. 84.

Oskar Schlemmer, who like his friend Willi Baumeister was able to work for the Wuppertal paint manufacturer Walter Herberts during the Nazi dictatorship, disguised himself as a paint expert: brush inspector, paint painter. In fact, the two painters were able to work here secretly in the abstract and even experiment artistically. Around 1940, Schlemmer chose the theme of painters for the painting of a lacquer cabinet. In this environment he also painted the "Study of the Brush Examiner" (1942). One recognizes above the central diagonal from top left to bottom right a head seen obliquely from behind - with blond hair. One hand is outstretched, testing a paintbrush that rises vertically to the left of the image. At that time, the art of lacquer painting was still little cultivated in Europe; on the other hand, there was an exceptionally high lacquer paint culture in Asia. Oskar Schlemmer now had the task of developing modern paint materials and examining their artistic possibilities for surface design" (Kurt Herberts). The studies were for artistic purposes and, unlike the lacquer cabinet, have been preserved - the cabinet itself (illustrated in the catalog "Schlemmer. Baumeister. Krause. Wuppertal 1937-1944") was already destroyed in 1941.
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