- Gallery Text
After World War II, Götz emerged in Germany as a major proponent of abstract painting, known more broadly as art informel. In 1952 he abandoned oil paint for casein (a milk-based paint), which he applied to canvas primed with glue and then quickly manipulated with a blade or hard-edged squeegee. In June 1954/II, dynamic black forms on the white surface, highlighted with touches of blue, complicate the relationship between figure and ground, creating, as one critic called it at the time, “whipped space.” This work is the product of a few concentrated flicks of the wrist and sweeps of the arm, but by the late 1950s Götz’s canvases had grown in size to rival those of his American contemporaries and demanded the movement of the artist’s entire body. Like Jackson Pollock, Götz placed his canvases flat on the floor, but he used an array of long-handled brushes and tools of his own design to create his signature style.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
K.O. Götz, German (Aachen, Germany 1914 - 2017 Niederbreitbach-Wolfenacker, Germany)
- June 1954/II
- Other Titles
- Original Language Title: Juni 1954/II
- Work Type
Level 1, Room 1200, Modern and Contemporary Art, Mid–century Abstraction I
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- Physical Descriptions
- Wallpaper paste and casein paint on canvas
- 70 x 70 cm (27 9/16 x 27 9/16 in.)
framed: 71.4 × 71.4 × 3.2 cm (28 1/8 × 28 1/8 × 1 1/4 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- Signed: l.l., in black paint: K.O. Götz
- label: on verso, on stretcher, on label: Sammlung Karin Götz (Rissa)
- inscription: on verso, on stretcher in black: Eigentum Karin Götz
- inscription: on verso, on canvas in black paint: K.O. Götz//Juni 1954/II//Karin Götz zugeeignet//July 76
- The artist, gift; to a private collection, 1976, gift; to the Busch-Reisinger Museum, 2012
- State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
- Standard Reference Number
- Ströher 1954-55
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Anonymous gift
- © K.O. Götz / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Modern and Contemporary Art
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Label Text: Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55 , written 2018
After World War II, Götz emerged as a major proponent of abstract painting, known more broadly in the context of post-1945 Europe as art informel. In 1952, he abandoned oil paint for casein, which he applied to canvas primed with glue and then quickly manipulated with a blade or hard-edged squeegee (Rakel). This technique, which the artist discovered at home while working with wallpaper paste, marked the culmination of more than a decade of experimenting with the materiality of paint and dissolving figure-ground relationships. In June 1954/II, dynamic black and white forms highlighted with touches of blue create what art critic Edouard Jaguer dubbed “whipped space” (espace fouetté). What is here the product of a few concentrated flicks of the wrist and sweeps of the arm grew in tandem with the size of the artist’s canvases to demand, by the late 1950s, the movement of Götz’s entire body and an array of selfdesigned, long-armed brushes and tools.
- Publication History
K.O. Götz, K. O. Götz. Erinnerungen und Werk, Concept Verlag (Düsseldorf, Germany, 1983), Vol. I, p. 681, cat. no. 765, col. ill.
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, ed., K.O. Götz. Monotypien, Gemälde, Gouachen 1935-1983, exh. cat. (Düsseldorf, Germany, 1985), p. 129, cat. no. 50, p. 68, col. ill.
Ina Ströher, K. O. Götz. Werkverzeichnis in zwei Bänden, Wienand Verlag (Cologne, Germany, 2014), p. 171, cat. no. 1954-55, col. ill.
Cate McQuaid, "'Inventur' looks at German art in the wake of WWII", The Boston Globe (Boston, MA, 2018)
Lynette Roth and Ilka Voermann, Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2018), pp. 372-374, cat. no. 53.1, ill. (color)
- Exhibition History
K. O. Götz. Monotypien, Gemälde, Gouachen 1935-1983, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 06/16/1984 - 07/22/1984; Galerie des Saarlandmuseums, 09/07/1984 - 10/07/1984; Galerie der Stadt Esslingen, Villa Merkel, 12/14/1984 - 01/27/1985
K. O. Götz, Oberhessisches Landesmuseum im Alten Schloss, 03/13/1985 - 05/12/1985
K. O. Götz, MB Art Galerie Marlies Breitling, 01/01/1987 - 01/01/1987
32Q: 1200 Mid-Century Abstraction I (Painterly Abstraction), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 01/10/2018; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/09/2018 - 01/01/2050
Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/09/2018 - 06/03/2018
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