Under the title "Franz Gertsch. Natures Secret" the Museum Frieder Burda
shows from October, 26, 2013 until February, 16, 2014 works from the painter Franz Gertsch. With its thirty monumental paintings and woodcuts, the exhibition provides insight into the artists oeuvre and demonstrates that the breadth of his creative work reaches far beyond photorealistic reproduction.
Franz Gertsch (born 1930 in Mörigen, Switzerland) is one of todays most prominent artists. He has achieved international acclaim for his woodcuts, which are unique in terms of technique and format, and for his photorealistic painting. A rich painterly and graphic oeuvre extends from his breakthrough at documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972 to the presentation of his works at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2003. His work approximates reality in a very special way and yet always maintains an element of secrecy.
The exhibition at the Museum Frieder Burda was prepared in close cooperation with Franz Gertsch and curated by Götz Adriani. While three of the artists early works from the seventies begin the presentation, priority is given to newer works that have never before been exhibited in Germany, including the triptych Guadeloupe, completed in 2013, with its paintings Bromelia, Maria, and Soufrière. Also being shown are his famous portraits of women, such as Silvia and Johanna, whose striking format alone lend them something unreal, ethereal. The Seasons paintings also seem to refuse to betray natures secret, despite their microscopically accurate manner of representation. They are displayed in the large hall and create the impression that the surrounding nature has found its way into the museum and completely taken possession of it.
Figure paintings and landscapes are Franz Gertschs primary motifs. He transfers them to canvas in an elaborate and lengthy process that is characteristic of his style and takes months, occasionally years. The artist has also been producing large-format woodcuts since the late eighties, several of which will be shown in the exhibition. He uses a fine gouge to cut the motif out of the wood point by point. Unlike his paintings, the technique he applies and the monochromatic coloration cause these prints to seem more abstract and more removed.