Endymion, Bernard Schultze
Bernard Schultze
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Bernard Schultze

Endymion, 1955

129 x 100 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1978 as a gift from Siegfried Unseld, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
On display, lower level, Contemporary Art, room 20


About the Work

Bernard Schultze uses wood, hands and paintbrush to cover the canvas lying on the ground with coloured pulp he has mixed himself and coloured powder. During the subsequent act of painting, he allows himself to be led by the "dictate of the subconscious" (André Breton) and by Jackson Pollock's 1940s drip-painting process. Schultze, however, remains closer to Tachism than to Action Painting. He adds several overlapping layers of paint, juxtaposes smears and splodges until the picture begins to proliferate organically. The resulting intoxicating private worlds are partly dark and partly scintillating. At that very instant - like puzzle pictures - they transform themselves into scenarios of disintegration and decline.

About the Acquisition

Klaus Franck first exhibited the Informel-style paintings of the artists’ group Quadriga (Karl Otto Götz, Heinz Kreutz, Bernard Schultze, Otto Greis) in his one-room gallery in Frankfurt in 1952. That same year, Siegfried Unseld (1924–2002) joined the Suhrkamp publishing house, directed by Peter Suhrkamp. What all these persons had in common was the endeavour to revive culture in Frankfurt in the post-war period. It was in this spirit that Siegfried Unseld – meanwhile sole director of Suhrkamp – donated this painting to the Museums-Verein in 1978.

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