COMPOSITION 59/39
Otto Ritschl
ERFURT 1885 - 1976 WIESBADEN
COMPOSITION 59/39
OIL ON CANVAS
SIGNED AND DATED LOWER LEFT BRUSH IN WHITE,
VERSO WITH BRUSH IN BLACK SIGNED AND ENTITLED. (19)59

75 X 100 CM
PROVENANCE

COLLECTION EBERHARD SEEL, BERLIN AND KÖLN


PRIVAT COLLECTION, GERMANY

LITERATURE

VELTE,


"OTTO RITSCHL LEBEN UND WERK", ABB.
MITTELRHEIN MUSEUM DER STADT KOBLENZ 1970, P.133

After a long hiatus due to the turmoil of the World War, Ritschl draws on the aesthetic tradition of the 1930s modernity in his work before dealing with Pablo Picasso’s art.Only slowly does Ritschl succeed to emancipate himself from his original sources of inspiration. He virtually immerses into painting, composing deeply medial and energetic abstract works which content nevertheless has to be appreciated in its symbolic dimension. The paintings produced in the 1950s undoubtedly mark the artistic climax in Ritschl’s life by reflecting the inner life with great intensity, being detached from the perceptible world in terms of the notions of physically graspable reality.


 Composition 1959/39 was produced one year after the death of Ritschl’s wife. It illustrates a new idea of form and colour as well as the entire detachment from geometric-constructivist forms resulting from his long and intense artistic dealing with the notions of life and death. This work is part of the transitory phase between yet clearly bordered colour fields and the cloud-shaped, blurry forms of his later work. The vigorous dark blues and greens are contrasting with sandy earth tones. Ritschl constructs this cave-like structure predominantly by using angular shapes. The disk-shaped red colour field creates a strong contrast, thereby immersing symbolically into the own self, into enlightenment and truth in order to visualise mystic and meditative notions which Ritschl steadily emphasises in his artistic work.2


1 Velte, Maria: Otto Ritschl: Leben und Werk, Koblenz 1970, p. XIV.


2 Ibid. p. XXVII ff.