Gerhard Hoehme made a decisive contribution to international art in the second half of the 20th century with his pictorial and sculptural works as well as his drawings and installations, which can often only first be understood by considering their fascinating materiality.Read More
In his open, multi-layered work, he has constantly questioned and expanded the boundaries of the image and pictorial space. From the very beginning, the painter sought a dialogue with the viewer, regardless of how the work materialised. The subtle connections between things or relations–the title of his manifesto from 1968–are key terms in the artist's understanding.
After moving from the GDR to West germany in 1951, the artist worked as a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1961–1984. Hoehme, whose interest in sociological and art-political topics also manifested itself in numerous texts, was able to pass on many of these stimulating issues to his students and was one of the influential teachers of the Düsseldorf Academy.
Already during his residency at the Villa Massimo in Rome (1960), the artist–who was originally trained in book and type design–had begun collaging newspaper clippings, letter, and typefaces, thus directly integrating multiple, overlapping fragments into his images. In 1964 Hoehme opened himself to the fascinating materiality of his (everyday) surroundings, with what one could describe as a liberated gaze: he experimented with 'banal' industrial materials foreign to art, used mirrors, rags, and aluminium bronze, turned pattern sheets, wooden slats, plastic foils, and damask tablecloths into backgrounds for his paintings. (cited from Susanne Rennert, Gerhard Hoehme, Relations, Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag 2016).
Gerhard Hoehme, whose work is characterised by a conceptual density and constant development through experimentation, interpreted the 'image' or the 'object' as an open, energetic field that expands into the environment, into three-dimensional space, and not least penetrates into the observer's world of experience, where it lives in on in their thoughts.
Text courtesy Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art.