"Verschlungen 1 (Devoured 1)", 2002
Watercolour and pencil on paper
20.08 x 28.74 in / framed 29.13 x 37.01 in
Signed, dated and titled bottom right
"Bernard Schultze "verschlungen 1" 2002"
- with craftsman's frame and non-reflective glass -
Über das Werk
Already at an advanced age when he completed this sheet, Bernard Schultze always declared painting to be his lifeblood; to the extent that even when on his travels he refused to forego this activity - despite being obliged to exchange his canvas for the sketch book.
This present work was executed by the then 87-year-old artist during his annual stay at the spa resort of Bad Neuenahr. According to his handwritten catalogue raisonné, during that summer, he produced a series of three works all titled "Devoured" and all of the same format, executed with pencil and watercolours on white cardboard.
The design principle of his "tabukris", which was developed from these "floating, cheerful works between painting and drawing" (Schultze) from the 1960s, is revealed here in this graphical web-like pencil drawing, which fills the entire sheet. Applied over it are amorphous islands of water-colour in grey and beige hues, extending to the sheet's edges and expanding the surrounding pictorial space.
The appeal of this highly-charged combination of watercolour and drawing lies once again in its labyrinthine and ambiguous quality, and in the purely associative moment, which is suggested in the title conferred by the artist himself: "Devoured". Schultze calls it: "The moment of the labyrinth for me and the viewer - as the innermost principle".