Helmut Federle: Basics on Composition

Hatje Cantz Verlag

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Erich Franz and John Yau
Hatje Cantz Verlag
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H is here, in the truest sense, the alpha and omega. Helmut Federle uses the first letter of his first name as a format-filling, artistic matrix on canvases measuring between forty and fifty centimetres. Since his early days as an artist in the late 1970s, he has created seventy variations of Liegendes H (Reclining H). The basic form of three lines and two squares enumerates the variations of expressions in painting. Their synopsis plays with figure and ground, forming an inventive collection of painterly techniques and the atmospheres they evoke. At the same time, the subtitles for the individual works seem to hint at the specific horizons of experience in their creation. They lend each work a poetic dimension, as one tries to imagine the artist’s world in the planes of colour. Thus, each picture represents Helmut and is, in its mysterious originality, a fascinating haiku.