INFORMEL 09. May 2019 - 31. August 2019

About the exhibition

The Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie presents 35 works from the fields of painting, paper and relief by the three outstanding German painters of the Informel, Karl Otto Götz (1914-2017), Bernard Schultze (1915-2005) and Fred Thieler (1916-1999). All three artists, who have a long tradition of exhibiting in our gallery, were united by the desire for a new start in style after the Second World War. The geometrically abstract was abandoned by the founding members of the “Quadriga”, Götz and Schultze, as well as by Thieler, who belonged to the “ZEN 49” group, in favor of a flowing color and form instability. They received the Parisian beginnings of Informel before the Second World War. All three were largely inspired by the pioneering artists Wols, Jean Fautrier and Hans Hartung to a resurgent ideal of free artistic imagination in Germany after 1945.

The vernissage of the exhibition 'Informel' will take place on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. An 80-page color catalog will also be published for the exhibition.

Before Karl Otto Götz discovered the Informel style for himself, his early work in the 1930s was still shaped by Expressionism and Surrealism. Under the influence of Juan Gris, Paul Klee and Max Ernst, he experimented with woodcuts and created, among other things, spray patterns and the amorphous forms of his fracture primer.

The turning point for his main informal phase from 1952 was his discovery that wallpaper paste mixed with layers of paint, with the help of a squeegee, enabled an intuitive way of working and a free design language. This technique found its noticeable entrance in many exhibited works, especially in Mare, 1973, mixed media on canvas, 145 x 175 cm. and allows the viewer a deeper insight into Götz's characteristically informal painting. The work Giverny, 1987, gouache on paper, 100 x 70 cm from the series of works of the same name, in which he did not use the color black for the first time, is also remarkable. After being awarded the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class and the extensive retrospective on his 100th birthday in the National Gallery in Berlin, Götz died at the age of 103.

In addition to Götz, Bernard Schultze was also moved by the intensity of gestural expression through his intensive engagement with abstract expressionism. Starting with academic-constructivist painting, his way of working also changed in the late 1940s to an informal painting approaching surrealism. From then on, Schultze's meditative and associative aesthetics were characteristic. His entire oeuvre since 1952 thematized and developed a labyrinth-like design language full of secrets and facets. Schultze, who went on many study trips, won the major Hessian Art Prize in 1984 and was awarded the Order of Merit of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Schultze's rare chalk grisaille, Irgendwo lauert es (Somewhere it lurks), 1993, black chalk on paper laid on canvas, 144 x 234 cm. This main work of Informel shows his artistic creation process, which is characterized by the renunciation of a fixed compositional vocabulary. In this work in particular, he builds on the individual form openness of the associative technique of the “Écriture automatique”. Schultze knew how to process the unconscious in poetic, explosive and fragmented silhouettes. In addition, from 1962 onwards, Schultze also integrated his so-called plastic and relief “Migofs” into his image and sculpture metaphor. The organic essence Rot-Migof (Red-Migof), 1969, colored plastic made of wire, textile, glue and oil paint on a linen-covered wooden panel, 75 x 55 x 40 cm shows that in Schultze's artistic world everything can be ambiguous metamorphosis. Many of the exhibited works also represent this.

The renowned German artist Fred Thieler also said goodbye to representational painting after his study trips to Paris, the center of Art Informel. He not only joined the well-known artist group ZEN 49, but also worked from 1951-1981 in the tradition of action painting with canvases lying on the floor. Here he was particularly inspired by American protagonists such as Jackson Pollock, Jasper Jones or Sam Francis. Fred Thieler watered, splashed and dabbed the canvas with gestures with paint. A highlight of the exhibition is the large-format masterpiece K. II / 67, 1967, mixed media on canvas, 176 x 275 cm. It has not been presented to the public for decades. In addition to its colorful presence, the work is also characterized by a special use of the craquelé technique.

The other works shown, such as Untitled, 1958, spatula technique on paper, 65 x 50 cm are the same symbols for Thieler's life, which was shaped by the persecution of the Third Reich. After these experiences, artistic work always meant researching and analyzing himself and his environment. Thieler was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Cashier in 1984 and was Vice President of the International Society for Fine Arts in Paris and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Even after a stroke in 1986, which severely restricted Thieler's movement, he continued to create works in his late works such as Rende-Vouz III, 1998, synthetic resin dispersion on canvas, 90 x 105 cm. Until his death, Thieler continued to convince with bright colors and cosmically wide pictorial spaces of the imagination.

Through the protagonists of our exhibition, Götz, Schultze and Thieler, the Informel movement became the voice of a generation of young artists after 1945 who knew how to set a shining example of dramatic and lyrical colourfulness in the post-war period. All three presented artists are presented by the most important international museums worldwide.

From 09 May 2019 to 31 August 2019 is the Exhibition ‚Informel‘ will be presented at the Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Vernissage: Donnerstag, 9. Mai 2019, 19 Uhr



Mi 03. Juli 2019 von 19 – 21 Uhr, Öffentliche Führung und Gesprächsrunde mit den Gästen: Gabriele Thieler, Tochter des Malers Fred Thieler, und Ulrich Rossol
Presseinformation zum Künstlergespräch

Online Katalog


'Der Ausbruch aus Diktatur und innerer Emigration in die Freiheit', WB, 09.05.2019

'Spielarten von Freiheit', NW, 09.05.2019

Online Katalog

Past exhibitions