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Fred Thieler

"Untitled", 1996

Acrylic on handmade paper

69 x 50 cm / framed 100 x 80 cm  ″

Signed, dated bottom right "F. Thieler 97"
Signed, dated verso "F. Thieler 97"

N 4954

About the work

The “Untitled” composition by Fred Thieler appears like a powerful explosion of colour in cosmic worlds. With a dynamic and expressive pictorial language, the artist has staged clouds of colour, streaks and rivulets, hard transitions and gentle progressions, transparent superimpositions and vehement penetrations, brusque contrasts of light and shadow and subtle tonalities, open parts and solidly condensed zones charged with expression. The viewer encounters a floating colour-space continuum of glowing shades of blue and red, which acquires a lively impact from the visible action of the fierce painting process.
Born in 1916 in Königsberg and having passed away in 1999 in Berlin, Fred Thieler was one of the most important representatives of informal painting in the history of art of Germany after 1945. After studies in medicine, commenced with in 1937, and subsequent labour and military service, Thieler turned to art in 1946 and studied until 1950 at the Munich Academy. Contacts with the German and international avant garde were established after 1948, with artists of the “ZEN49” group in Munich and with Hans Hartung, Serge Poliakoff and Pierre Soulages in Paris after 1951. In 1953, Thieler became a member of the “NeuenGruppe” in Munich and was employed as a professor for painting at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste (today Berlin University of the Arts) from 1959 to 1961. According to his own statement, Thieler wanted to “indicate in painting [...] the impulses of my life: stimuli like bouts of depression, intuition and calculating considerations, reactions resulting from both individual experiences and chains of experiences”. The objective of his art is the free, fully uninhibited elaboration of energies of colour and form in the image area. In the process, he experimented with the particularities of painting technique and used their specific qualities of expression to heighten the pictorial statement. Explored is the inherent value of colour, liberated from everything tangible. By rotating the image medium several times during the painting procedure, Thieler achieved the most varied orientations and expansions of the watercolour-like colour matter on the paper. Following the maxim of informal art, the spontaneous, elementary expressive gesture is the central motivation and actual theme of the pictorial creation. Emphasised is the pure, emotionally guided and ecstatically affecting act of creation. The enormous energy of the painting process also remains impressively tangible in the late works of Thieler, of which this work is one. Conjured are spatially dynamic progressions and dramatic fields of tension, which, despite the extreme motivity of the pictorial impulses, appear as if frozen in the moment of their taking shape. The result is immaterial structures that allow a powerful and sensual atmosphere to arise.
(Andreas Gabelmann)

Further works by Fred Thieler

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