Gesture and Line
Four post-war German and Austrian artists from the Duerckheim Collection, British Museum, London
From the 1960s drawing assumed a prominent position in the practice of a rising generation of post-war artists in Germany and Austria. This exhibition examines works on paper by four artists still comparatively little known in the UK.
While Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter, household names in German contemporary art, are well known for their large and commanding works, a quieter and more reflective strand is found in the work of Rudi Tröger (b. 1929), Karl Bohrmann (1928-1998) and Carl-Heinz Wegert (1926-2007). Small and intimate in scale, their drawings focus on the abstracted, minimalist figure, the studio interior and landscapes, through a sensitive use of line and a spare, self-effacing gesturalism.
By contrast, the Austrian actionist Hermann Nitsch (1938-2022) presents visceral depictions of the human anatomy in his large lithographs, which come out of his actionist performances.
This exhibition celebrates a second major gift to the British Museum from the German collector Count Christian Duerckheim.