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Still life with hand

Material: Pencil/Paper
Dimensions: 45 x 54 cm

You could [...] in a typical impression of this century form of criticism of the classical representation see - but a fundamentally different way than the abstraction strikes, because instead of radically from the object represented, from the 'real' avert, applies the impression to him radically, radically so that it each optical adequate distance 'Convention or any evidence of visibility, the visibility, legibility subverted in touch. (Georges Didi-Huberman 1999)

Fritz Griebel fascinated for the old artistic genre of still life. In this unassuming at first glance drawing he has already discussed his later iconographic program. He had a penchant for pears, plums, eggs and nuts. They appear in almost all of its fruit still life.

In the center of the drawing, there are three bulbs, one of which is cut off from the upper edge of the picture. In addition to the large bulb we see an indicated nest with two little eggs next to a halved plum. In the lower area three large eggs and a walnut can be seen.

With fine pencil lines the artist contoured things. In the shadowed areas he indicated with hatching. In contrast to classic still life, things are not on a table with a table cloth, but seem placeless to float on the scene. Things are drawn almost no contrast, the black print of a palm in the picture stands out clearly. It gives the picture a mysterious aura.

The impression is probably the oldest pictorial autopoietic process. The score was created by itself, by simple contact of an object with a surface. A state goes directly into another, without any further action begets amorphous matter formed fabric. Who does not remember, to be admired as a child on the beach his footprints were washed away by the next wave again. Handprints in particular are "contact pictures", arising out of touch the image surface with bare hands. They represent absence and presence alike.

Negative hand in the cave of Pech Merle (16,000 to 20,000 years old), today France. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

For the art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman (born 1953) is the impression based on the ethnologists and prehistorians André Leroi-Gourhan (1911-1986), the "dawn of the images". On the walls of Southern French and Spanish caves were found next to realistic representations of animals and stylized human and positive and negative imprints of hands especially. Strictly speaking, however, it is at these hand negatives related to the forms bearing the imprint of the template technique.

About the importance of these handprints, the science is not unanimous, different hypotheses are represented as a symbol content. One interpretation would be that these hand signals an embodied Author signs are, ie a kind of signature.

On closer inspection, the hand in the drawing reveals that she resembles a footprint. Technically, it is a template. Let us assume that the hand comes from Fritz Griebel himself, he put his left hand flat on the drawing paper with a pen and circumnavigated the contours. Then he filled in the outline with black, said he aussparte the ridges on the palm. The people of the Upper Paleolithic laid their hands on a rock wall and sprayed with a tube color on the wall

In both techniques, the result is an image that was created by contact of an outline. The image is literally a track, a transposition, the remnant of a now vanished hand, but once seen before hand.

The hand of the artist does not fit harmoniously into the image context. It dominates the image. She is a signature of the artist Fritz Griebel. Distributed like a rock wall act things. Griebel sees itself as Creator mundi, as creator of his own artistic language, proclaim in the archetypal characters of the primal power of images.


Antje Buchwald 2014



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