FRANZ GERTSCH: NATURE PORTRAITS

WOOD CUTS AND PAINTINGS 1986-2006

20 October 2006 - 7 January 2007
Franz Gertsch
Silvia III, 2003-2004

The Swiss artist Franz Gertsch became internationally known in the 1970s with his colourful, photo-realist paintings of friends from the Berne scene and with portraits of his family.

 

Over time, he developed, in these pictures, a degree of closeness to reality that could hardly be increased any further and from which he was eventually trying to disengage himself.

By the mid-1980s he began to turn his attention to woodcutting, developing a new technique, where he would carve innumerable small holes into the wood, which would remain visible as bright dots on the paper in the printing process, whereas only the unimpaired surfaces of the wood reflect the impression of the printer’s ink. In this way he succeeded in obtaining previously unimaginable forms of expression from the traditional wood-cutting technique. Despite his continued use of photographic templates he was now able to project a more distanced and more abstract projection of reality.
 
Creating motifs from nature but also portraits, which he captures on monumental sheets and occasionally combines into gigantic diptyches and triptychs, the exhibition shows nearly all of these woodcuts as well as the thematically related paintings the artist has created over the past twenty years.
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