© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Bernard Schultze, German (Schneidemühl, Germany (now Pila, Poland) 1915 - 2005 Cologne, Germany)
Cold and Wild
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Kalt und Wild
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Opaque and transparent watercolor, black ink, black chalk, pastel, crayon, and graphite on off-white modern laid paper
50 x 66 cm (19 11/16 x 26 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: initialed in graphite at l.r.: BS
  • inscription: l.r., graphite, German, in artist's hand: "Kalt und Wild" 53
  • inscription: l.r., graphite, in artist's hand: 3 (circled)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of the Artist through the German Art Dealers Association
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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print on verso

Label Text: Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55 , written 2018
Schultze’s work is exemplary of postwar art informel, a term coined by French critic Michel Tapié to describe abstract painting, emphasizing gestural spontaneity and a “rawness” often associated with a form of primitivism (understood at the time to include “art of the insane,” cave paintings, or children’s drawings, for instance). The artist described his work from the early 1950s as both topographic and related to his wartime experience: “Pools of liquid, mounds and hollows, fissures, bark-like excrescences developed; crumbling walls, delta landscapes, desolate steppes, karst areas, the expanses of Russia emerged, the dark, green woods of my childhood on the Polish border.” Together with the woman who would become his wife, artist Ursula Bluhm, Schultze explored the notion of “unfalsified” painting, comparing himself in the act of painting on the ground to “children at the beach.” Cold and Wild evokes such spontaneity in its title, as well as in its multiple layers of media. In the ink drawing 9/53 (1992.205), motifs emerge amid continuous lines that the artist would, ideally, have continued ad infinitum.

Publication History

Erika Gemar Költzsch, German Marks: Postwar Drawings and Prints Donated to the Busch-Reisinger Museum through the German Art Dealers Association, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1998), p. 118, cat. no. 70, p. 27 col. ill.

Lynette Roth and Ilka Voermann, Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2018), pp. 367-368,370, cat. no. 52.3, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Aspects of Art in West Germany, 1945-1965, Harvard University Art Museums, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 08/22/1992 - 10/18/1992

Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/09/2018 - 06/03/2018

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu