In 1951 Fred Thieler commenced his studies of graphic art in Paris under the British painter and printmaker Stanley William Hayter. From his experiments with the possibilities of etching, serigraphy and lithography he elaborated an abstract language of form, which "showed parallels to crystalline structures and shaped the style of graphic art and painting over the ensuing years." (1)
Predicated on these experiences, he created the so–called "palette–knife paintings" during the mid and late 1950s, to which this work also belongs. Working with the palette knife, Fred Thieler energized the rapidly drying screen–printing ilk with constructive, dynamic rhythms: "All these 'palette–knife' works – apart from very few – are relatively small. They are all approximately 1 sq.m. and as the paint dries very quickly, no corrections can be made subsequently. One has to rapidly create something from this paint. One cannot passively react to what materialises on the canvas over a longer period." (2) The artist's rapid modus operandi, action and reaction are clearly discernible in this painting as a spontaneous gesture, and through the application of black, white and red, evoke vibrant dynamic motion.
(1) Zemter, Wolfgang: "Zum Geleit", in: Fred Thieler. Das graphische Werk im Besitz des Märkischen Museums der Stadt Witten, Part 1: Die Radierungen, exh.–cat. Märkisches Museum Witten, Witten 1988, n.p.
(2) Thieler, Fred: "Malen als Positionszeichen. Ein Gespräch mit Manfred de la Motte, begonnen am 30.3.1980 in Beaune auf einer Reise durch Burgund", in: Fred Thieler, ed. by Manfred de la Motte, exh.–cat. Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Berlin, Berlin 1983, 137–159, here: 154.
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