Der Gesetzgeber, Konrad Klapheck
Konrad Klapheck
Der Gesetzgeber
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Konrad Klapheck

Der Gesetzgeber, 1969

230 x 200 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2014 with funds from the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
On display, lower level, Contemporary Art, room 10


About the Work

‘The Legislator’ is among the key workgroups accounting for Klapheck’s status as one of the most important protagonists in post-war German art. In his paintings of ‘prosaic super-representationality’, he developed a highly individual artistic style with which he deliberately set himself apart from contemporary Informel and Abstract Expressionist currents. Not least in his work titles, the artist ascribes human traits to his depictions of everyday technical devices, thus introducing political, biographical and historical dimensions of meaning. The eponymous ‘legislator’ ‒ a hybrid between a typewriter and a cash register ‒ is furnished with astonishingly despotic features. The artist has ‘portrayed’ the portly monstrosity at an extreme angle from below, lending it a kind of icy authority. To spin the tale further, the machine itself could be a throne, the lever an arm complete with a sceptre, and the keyboard a tablet of the law.

Audio & Video

  • Basic information
  • Focus on cultural history
  • Focus on material
Kunst nach 1945: Konrad Klapheck
Als der 1935 geborene Konrad Klapheck mit nur zwanzig Jahren in der Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie sein erstes „Portrait“ einer Kontinental-Schreibmaschine anfertigte, legte er den Grundstein für ein außergewöhnlich konsequentes Œuvre. Im Film geht er auf zwei seiner Werke der Sammlung Gegenwartskunst im Städel Museum ein: "Der Gesetzgeber" (1969) und "Ein bißchen Hoffnung" (1978).

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