Winfred Gaul. Works from the Kemp collection

19.10.2014 - 1.2.2015

The exhibition focuses on paintings retracing Gaul’s development from informal works of the 1950s, through to the traffic symbols, markings and multi-part pictures, thus encompassing all up until his late work. Early graphic prints focusing on the issue of script are juxtaposed with a series of later book illustrations for volumes of poems by Cyrus Atabay. Winfred Gaul’s occupation with language thus engulfs his entire painterly oeuvre and illustrates the conviction of the artist, who wished to think in images and whose painting, while formally appearing very clear and simple, was invariably a product of deep reflection.

Willi Kemp, who donated his important art collection to Museum Kunstpalast in 2011, acquired a wealth of paintings and prints by his close friend Winfred Gaul (1928-2003). Thus, with over 40 paintings, over 70 works on paper and 85 prints and drawings the work of the Düsseldorf painter Winfred Gaul takes up an important position in this collection. The exhibition juxtaposes different work groups, including works of art informel, “poèmes visibles”, “colour manuscripts”, “Wischbilder” (wipe pictures), as well as “signals and traffic signs”.

Throughout his life the Düsseldorf painter experimented with form and colour. Gaul is among the pioneers of the German Informel and in the course of his artistic career underwent a number of formal transformations, which are clearly reflected in the Kemp collection. During the mid 1950s his interest was focused in particular on the relationship between script and image, and the encounter with the French-German homme des lettres and art connoisseur Jean Pierre Wilhelm inspired him to works in which script becomes form.

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