Archaic Fragment, Richard Oelze
Richard Oelze
Archaic Fragment
DE
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Richard Oelze

Archaic Fragment, 1935


Dimensions
98.0 x 130.0 cm
Inventory Number
2493
Acquisition
Acquired in 2016 with support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder as well as the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung, joint property with Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Status
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art

Texts

About the Work

Archaic Fragment is one of only three large-format works from Oelze’s most important creative period in Paris (1933‒1936). It shows his unmistakable pictorial language, in which he merged the precise painting style of New Objectivity with the Surrealist fantastic motifs. Although painted in great detail, the depiction eludes any final interpretation ‒ a seemingly animated mixed entity floats around a fantasy landscape. The entity itself is reminiscent of plants and animals combined with human body shapes. The familiar and the strange meet and merge in the surrealistic logic to create a disturbing internal landscape. The artist also plays with erotic undertones, awakening fears and desires that slumber in the human psyche like an ‘archaic fragment’.

Video

  • Gastkommentar: Neuronale Netzwerke in der Kunst mit Hirnforscher Moritz Helmstaedter
    Was sieht ein Hirnforscher in den Werken der Städel Sammlung? In diesem Gastkommentar eröffnet DR. Moritz Helmstaedter (Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied am Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung in Frankfurt) seine Sichtweise auf die Kunstwerke im Städel Museum. Er schaut sich Paul Cézannes "Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge" (1870–1871), Alexej von Jawlenskys "Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa" (1929) sowie Richard Oelzes "Archaisches Fragment" (1935) unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener neurowissenschaftlicher Wahrnehmungstheorien an. Mehr Infos unter: https://www.staedelmuseum.de/de/angebote/gastkommentar Die Werke in unserer Digitalen Sammlung Paul Cézanne, Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge (1870–1871): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/landschaft-strasse-mit-baeumen-im-felsgebirge Alexej von Jawlensky, Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa (1929): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/abstrakter-kopf-sinfonie-in-rosa Richard Oelze, Archaisches Fragment (1935): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/archaisches-fragment

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Archaic Fragment
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts: oelze 35

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Gemeinsames Eigentum mit dem Städelschen Museums-Verein e.V.
Picture Copyright
© Estate of Richard Oelze
Acquisition
Acquired in 2016 with support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder as well as the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung, joint property with Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions

Iconclass

Primary
  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 29 surrealia, surrealistic representations
  • 25H214 lake
  • 31A444 anthropomorphic beings with parts of abnormal shape

Research and Discussion

Provenance

Object History
Richard Oelze, Paris
Julien Levy (1906-1981), New York
verkauft an Thomas F. Howard, New York, November 1940
Privatbesitz, USA
Verst. Clarke Auction Gallery, Boston an Privatbesitz, Frankreich, 3. Juni 2013.

Information

Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

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Conservation and Restoration

Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .

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Last update

31.03.2021