Karl Otto Götz will be celebrating his 100th birthday in February 2014. To mark this great centenary, the Nationalgalerie is holding a comprehensive retrospective of his art. Around 60 major works by the artist will shed light on Götz's complex and rich oeuvre that has spanned more than eight decades.
Swirling, exploding forms and abstract, almost ideographic or totemic structures - Götz's work is characterized by the search for both an immediate and free form and, in the artist's own words, 'poetic expression in the non-representational.' The exhibition aims to especially highlight the serial processes behind his works, chance effects, as well as recurring visual concepts and rhythms that lend his paintings an equal measure of dynamism and order. The exhibition also reveals Götz's influence on future generations of artists, particularly his two most famous pupils, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter.
The scope of the display extends from his early, Surrealism-inspired 'air pump watercolours', his photograms and the formal variations of his Fakturenfibel, on to the famous squeegee works of the 1950s and 1960s, and ending with dazzling examples of his late work. The survey not only illustrates the enormous diversity of pictorial abstraction in K.O. Götz, but also its wider impact. On show in the austere purism of the Neue Nationalgalerie's upper hall, Götz's large, powerful canvases have a special visual impact that also underlines the immense importance of his work for the international development of art post 1945.
The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie.
Presented by the Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, in collaboration with MKM - Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art, Duisburg, and the Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden.