Gouache on Japanese paper
Signed bottom left "S. Sprotte"
- with frame and non-reflective glass -
This dynamically-executed improvisation was completed in the studio. A gouache is a water-soluble paint made from coarsely-ground pigment and often chalk which combines both the covering properties of oil with the glazing qualities of watercolour, thus enabling Sprotte to exploit the entire gamut of possibilities for his purely colour-based paintings. No contour, no line endeavours to subdue the dynamism, the colour or the energy of nature; alone the richly coloured strokes and marks render the impression of nature - in accordance with what his eyes beheld.
Sprotte arrived on Sylt in 1945 and found in the residence of the publisher Peter Suhrkamp his first place to stay. In his memoirs he describes his fascination for the island, which at the time had become a Mecca for numerous artists, as follows: "When I arrived in Kampen in 1945, a original drawing by Leonardo da Vinci hung over the fireplace in Clara Tiedemann's house on the cliff. The German poet Ferdinand Avenarius (1856–1923) had also resided in Kampen, where the art historian Fritz Wichert was the local mayor. "After the war we shall found the first German-Chinese Society", promised the architect Li.
In the initial years, Suhrkamp's authors' house on the edge of the mudflats served both as residence and studio, offering an interrupted view towards the east. Hans Hartung told me that he used a bunker in the dunes as a make-shift studio. Orlik had done drawings in the Wuldeschlucht, and Kandinsky had worked in Wenningstedt, where the Buddhist Paul Dahlke had built a temple, and held countless mediations sessions. … In the 1920s, Jawlensky had lived in the Alte Dorfstraße in Kampen, where in 1978 I built a new studio."
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