After leaving school, Fred Thieler enrolled to study medicine in Königsberg in 1937, a course of study he was forced to interrupt several times whilst having to perform "labour service" during the war. Son of a Jewish mother, he was suspended from military service in 1941, and at the same time exmatriculated from university. He subsequently had to flee from the Gestapo and live underground with his mother in Munich. Thieler turned to painting and was initially admitted to Hein König's private painting academy. After the war, in 1946, he began studying painting at the Munich Academy of the Visual Arts. Although his paintings became increasingly more abstract, Thieler's early portraits and landscapes evince his admiration for Lovis Corinth. Towards the end of the 1940s, he forged the initial contact to the artist group ZEN 49, before becoming an official member in 1952. In 1955 he took part in the first post-war exhibition of German artists in Paris's Cercle Volney and in further acclaimed exhibitions both at home and abroad. Initially his paintings became more geometric, then much freer in their expression of colour and dissolution of form. This present oil painting was created at a time in which Thieler was for the first time achieving major recognition, and shows, alongside the broad brushstrokes, a freely applied white paint which snake like skid marks over the pastos patches of colour. Analysis of the crystalline pictorial structure on the unlabelled verso indicates that the work probably dates from the years 1953-1955, and features a probably discarded, but still highly expressive, painting, replete with the Thieler signature colours of red, blue, white and black.
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