Helmut Federle

Basics on Composition

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Helmut Federle
Basics on Composition

Ed. Galerie nächst St. Stephan, text(s) by Erich Franz, Erik Steffensen, John Yau, graphic design by Martha Stutteregger

German, English

2020. 160 pp., 80 ills.


21.50 x 26.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4786-8

Nomen est Pictura

"In all the noisy, shallow. and superficial hustle and bustle of the artistic zeitgeist with its shrill rhetoric of one-upmanship, Helmut Federle’s explorations of image composition almost seem like monastic spiritual exercises –in the best sense of the term. This really has become a grammar of basic pictorial possibilities, one that compels the viewer to look more closely, to scrutinise, and to be rewarded all the more for it." Stephan Berg (director of the Kunstmuseum Bonn)

H is here, in the truest sense, the alpha and omega. Helmut Federle uses the first letter of his first name as a format-filling, artistic matrix on canvases measuring between forty and fifty centimeters. Since his early days as an artist in the late 1970s, he has created seventy variations of Liegendes H (Reclining H). The basic form of three lines and two squares enumerates the variations of expressions in painting. Their synopsis plays with figure and ground, forming an inventive collection of painterly techniques and the atmospheres they evoke. At the same time, the subtitles for the individual works seem to hint at the specific horizons of experience in their creation. They lend each work a poetic dimension, as one tries to imagine the artist’s world in the planes of color. Thus, each picture represents Helmut and is, in its mysterious originality, a fascinating haiku.

Numerous solo exhibitions have been devoted to HELMUT FEDERLE’s (*1944, Solothurn) artwork. In 1997 he designed the Swiss Pavilion for the Venice Biennial. From 1999 to 2007 he was a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He divides his time between Vienna and Camaiore, Italy.

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