GALLERI K, STAND 718, PAPER SECTION.
Selected Woodcuts 1986 - 2017
Encouraged by the very strong interest in Franz Gertsch (Born 1930) solo show we held at TEFAF last year, we will exhibit woodcuts ranging from his first one “Natascha I” (1986) to his last one “Maria II” (2017) executed at the age of 87 years. On this occasion the artist kindly lent us two engraved woodblocks to hang side by side with two woodcuts of his iconic portrait of “Natascha IV” (1987-88). This is the first time the artist shows the woodblocks.
Franz Gertsch, born in 1930, belongs to a generation of artists becoming active during the 1960s, in a post war Europe marked by the new era of consumerism and popular culture. It is natural to associate Gertsch’s figurative and photorealistic works from this period with the European Pop art movement and with contemporary colleagues such as Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke in Germany, as well the artist Chuck Close in the USA. Just like the three artists, Gertsch’s point of departure is the photographic image. During the 1970s, he won international acclaim with his hyperrealist paintings, among them a series of situational portraits of the rock star Patti Smith. Of particular importance was his participation in Harald Szeemann’s legendary Documenta exhibition in Kassel in 1972 (Documenta 5) with Gertsch’s 400 x 600 cm large painting Medici (1971) becoming one of the main attractions. Since then, he has participated three times in the Venice Biennial, and exhibited in 1990 the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in addition to opening his own museum in 2002, the museum franz gertsch in Burgdorf, outside his home city of Bern. In 2005 he had his first “Restrospective” there and at the Kunstmuseum Bern, further venues of the exhibition where Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Kunsthalle Tübingen as well as Mumok and Albertina, Vienna (2006). In 2011 there was a large exhibition “Franz Gertsch. Jahreszeiten (Seasons), works from 1983 to 2011”, Kunsthaus Zürich.