Heinz Spielmann | group eleven

Stuttgart is, without any doubt, one a' those German towns which are of great importance to the development of non-objective painting. As early as the era of the "Blaue Reiter" Adolf Hoelzel worked, and of his students two widely known painters lived there: Oscar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister. The first exhibition of Hans Hartung's in Germany was shown here. Therefore the painters of the "gruppe 11" already belong to the fourth generation that continues the tradition of non-objective painting in Stuttgart.

If we talk of "tradition" it is in the sense expressed by Paul Valery: "Une insensible continuité est de son essence" (an insensible continuity is one of its essential characteristics). Indeed you are aware of your predecessors but you don't imitate them. You know there had been important non-objective art before and that it only can be continued by integration. So the paintings of the "gruppe 11" cannot he considered without those first stages of abstraction there is no doubt as they cannot be understood without the proceeding expressionism and surrealism. Yet non of those stages of modern painting is plagiarised. You better may say that these stages appear in the negation, that this new kind of painting is a dialectical inversion and, at the same time, an integration of the predecessors.

If you are looking far the implications of that way of painting you may be reminded of presentations of natural processes. This is but an outer similarity. Were there only natural processes presented it would net mean an integration but a restoration. The importance of these paintings is rather the situation in which they were created. Therefore a new kind of content appears - net any longer the objective content but else not only the simple reduction to pictorial realities. It is e new stage of perception as defined by Gottfried Benn: "Erkenne die Lage!" (see your situation).

Even the outer appearance shows the change of content. The old ones could be depicted in one painting. A situation which doesn't mean the fixation of e singular moment; hut the realisation of a long process cannot be shown in a singular painting. A full sequence is necessary. The thesis of North Whitehead that "existence" is only to be conceived as "event" therefore entered the field of art. Of course it is impossible to show such sequences in the limited range of this exhibition. The paintings of Atila Birò, G. C. Kirchberger, Georg-Karl Pfahler, and Friedrich Sieber (else the paintings of their guests: Klaus J. Fischer, and Walter Gaudnek) are consequently in the place of e full sequence. They are more or less incidental selections of most different principles of production.

Aus Katalog: gruppe 11. London: New Vison Centre Gallery 1957