Current Preview  Review

Rudolf Englert

6 July to 30 August 2022

Georges Brassens, 1980, Ink on paper, 58 x 43 cm
Ibiza, 1978, Ink on paper, 23 x 32 cm 

Rudolf Englert (1921-1989) developed his formal language since the early sixties parallel to other similar movements, such as ZERO, but largely independently. Systematically developed groups of works, primarily on paper, were created in dense succession. Englert’s special position within the avant-garde movements was recognised internationally by leading art historians and museums at an early stage. In the seventies the compositions became more complex and pictorial. The written character as well as the echoes of musical notations, which became apparent early on, become more prominent. Also against the background of the re-evaluation of the image, the medium of paper in the 1970s, the importance of Rudolf Englert becomes apparent, who participates in this development in different ways.

A publication with 176 pages and 127 illustrations was published to accompany the exhibition. An introductory essay by Prof. Dr. Erich Franz is followed by a detailed annotated biography, which was made possible by access to the artist’s estate and the evaluation of archival material that has largely not yet been made accessible. It allows Englert’s personality to emerge more clearly and provides a wide range of information about his work, his innovative approach, and the importance attached to him. The extensive image section with the important groups of works is structured by meaningful work-related statements on the artist.

The work shows “that Englert is a deeply committed artist, an extremely sensitive painter who, apart from the din of the organised art business, strives to make visible the rhythm of time and of his own existence. […] The result of such constantly new terrain opening up efforts for the wholeness of content and form are pictures whose expressive intensity quickly reveals itself to the attentive viewer. And fascinated one follows the rhythm of the lines, strokes and dots, which seem to be subjected to a compelling regularity and which, crowding together and detaching from each other again, are joined to a lively order and give information about the exciting process of the creation of the picture, which is equally inspired by spirit and feeling.
Sabine Winter, 1962

Englert “loves black and white, drawing and graphics. […] One thinks of the leaves of a score, and a musical-rhythmic feeling may participate in his works. But drawing is drawing and not music. There are pictures in Paul Klee’s work that he calls ‘Pflanzenschrift’ (plant writing); in a similar way Englert could title his works, emphasizing the architectural or the musical, the scriptural or the vegetative. There is all this with him and even more.“ 
Will Grohmann, 1964

Can I write what I paint? Do I know what I’m doing when I paint? I paint! I can’t write what I paint!
Rudolf Englert, 1967

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