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