Gesture and line

Michael Semff


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British Museum Press
12 October 2023
ISBN: 9780714126975
128 pages

From the publisher

From the 1960s drawing assumed a prominent position in the practice of a rising generation of post-war artists in Germany and Austria. This publication examines works on paper by four artists still comparatively little known in the UK. While Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter, household names in German contemporary art, are well known for their large and commanding works, a quieter and more reflective strand is found in the work of Rudi Troeger (b. 1929), Karl Bohrmann (1928-1998) and Carl-Heinz Wegert (1926-2007). Small and intimate in scale, their drawings focus on the abstracted, minimalist figure, the studio interior and landscapes, through a sensitive use of line and a spare, self-effacing gesturalism. By contrast, the Austrian actionist Hermann Nitsch (1938-2022) presents visceral depictions of the human anatomy in his large lithographs, which come out of his notorious actionist performances. This publication celebrates a second major gift to the British Museum from the German collector Count Christian Duerckheim, whose first gift featured in Germany Divided: Baselitz and his generation, published by the British Museum Press in 2014.