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Abstract Composition on blue background

Year: 1962-1965
Technique: Chalk Drawing
Dimensions: 45 x 59 cm

»The bond with reality is very elastic. The shape of the world is sovereign in itself, of itself, not art in the top circle. In the top circle of ambiguity reigns over a mystery - and the light of intellect goes miserably.«
Paul Klee (1931)

The artistic, aesthetical and cultural-political developments of German art after 1945, only in recent years been studied intensively by art historians. When the war ended in early 1945, he brought the visual arts no significant change. Germany was undoubtedly advised by the constriction of the fascist modernism and artistic activities of the relocation to New York to the periphery of the art.

Starting points were sought therefore to the period before 1933 and interviewed a variety of styles on their suitability for the present. However, Expressionism and Surrealism were found to be out of date. Offered an alternative to abstraction. She moved in mid-1946 the Western occupation zones into the public eye. They recognized her as an artistic way to the future, since "the abstraction is not in doubt and despair, complaint and accusation, insisting not just in a deformity, but almost completely absorbed in a positive, creative rekeying [...]" (Kurt Leonhard 1947). Was regarded as the main representative of abstraction besides Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), especially Paul Klee (1879-1940), propagated since the mid-1946 as a father figure to generations of artists was renewable.

Composition of vegetable characters, 1962-65, chalk drawing, 50 x 65 cm.

Fritz Griebel 1946 was professor of painting and free graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and two years later its director. He owed his appointment not only his artistic achievements but also its negative attitude towards the Nazi regime. Griebel had begun dealing with abstraction in the 1930s he set on the basis of political relations (see Stillleben mit schwebenden Stäben, Ei und Birnen).

But even in the postwar period was Fritz Griebel not exclusively focus on his art. His work as a lecturer and director were often left little time. He succeeded, however, started his path in the 1930s, but now to move on.

The chalk drawing "on a blue background abstract composition" is one of a series in which Griebel phenomena of reality into abstract symbols transformed. On a blue ground color contoured to lift and extensive ranges. A light blue stripe in the center separates the image into two halves. On the left we see a big red circle with several small, white to orange, and pink and a perforated in the center circle. A blue and white triangle, which is also broken, releasing the blue base, overlaps with the red and orange circle, so the colors blend in the interfaces with the color of the triangle. Below the triangle we see a cross-like brown form, which comes into contact with the perforated circle and triangle. Paradoxically, the point of contact with Griebel painted the white and blue triangle light brown, but rather black. The result is a black square.

On the right we see a green-blue figure, almost from under it is red-orange-position figure mirrored. It is to populate this stylized idols, the average number of pictures and paintings Fritz Griebel. Below the arms of the green idol added the artist a cross-like pink form. It is a counterpoint to the brown form on the left half. In the center of the pink form Griebel brought on a yellow gradient. In addition to the red idol includes a black shape from the shape of the world. It takes up the position of the downward arm of the red idol. In the opening half of the black bow Griebel pointed to a light blue circle.

It is striking that stand on the left half of almost all forms literally touch each other. Griebel used only a few exceptions, mixed colors, which are the shallow forms a certain depth. Geometric and archaic forms enter into a structure. It is determined by the shape of the color value.

Paul Klee: Red Bridge, 1928, watercolor.

Formally reminded the chalk drawing of Paul Klee in 1920 developed a theory of form. Of central importance is the question of the relationship between surface area, shape and color. In the watercolor "Red Bridge" for example, arranged on a blue ground clover shapes, like rectangles, squares and circles in such a way as to constitute a city bridge with a red and yellow sun or moon.

Fritz Griebel content found through its own review of his work to date and constantly evolving visual language of his ties to international abstraction of the postwar period. With the reduction of form and color, it evokes a essentialization a fact. But he remains essentially his great theme - the still life and the people in an archaic community - true. Griebel reveals a transcendent dimension behind an empirical perception. He reveals to us a symbol of their unity with all creation, contradictions and mysteries. He creates a universe that is based on the harmony of forces shapes and colors in the crayon drawings are arranged harmoniously. They overlap and create new shapes and colors - a becoming, as in nature.


Christine Hopfengart: Der Magier als Quotenkünstler. Paul Klee und sein Aufstieg zum Klassiker der Moderne. In: Dieter Scholz, Christina Thomson (Hg.): Das Universum Klee. Ausst.-Kat. Neue Nationalgalerie. Ostfildern 2008, S. 68-79.