Paintings and works on paper

Blick in die 13. Etage der Bundesbank-Zentrale in Frankfurt am Main

The Bundesbank’s art collection, having grown over a number of decades at many points across Germany, is presented at various locations. The wide range of artistic focuses at these locations have contributed to the variety of the collection, allowing visitors to make exciting discoveries throughout the bank.

At the Bank’s Central Office in Frankfurt am Main, for instance, the viewer will come across works by big names in representative and abstract painting such as Georg Baselitz, Günter Fruhtrunk, Rupprecht Geiger, K.O. Götz, Karl Hofer, Jörg Immendorff, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Emil Schumacher. In Hamburg there is a selection of paintings by Eduard Bargheer. The Bundesbank’s offices in eastern Germany, on the other hand, tend to have more works by artists from the eastern federal states.

K. O. Götz, Jan 1955, 1955

K.O. Götz, Jan 1955, Mixed media on canvas, 45 x 60 cm
K.O. Götz, Jan 1955, Mixed media on canvas, 45 x 60 cm

Karl Otto Götz, the only German member of the international COBRA group, was one of the few artists who attempted to provide theoretical underpinning and gain public attention for the abstract gestural painting of the post-war period: he co-published the magazine "Meta" from 1948 to 1953, was a founding member of the Frankfurt Quadriga group of artists and published texts on cognitive psychology. It was from his study of Surrealist methods that Götz developed his own specific technique involving the use of distemper, broad brushes and a rake-spatula. This technique was instrumental to achieving changes of form and content using pictorial and scriptorial methods. Götz, an unwavering opponent of geometric abstraction, developed a style that was powerful, emotional and mould-breaking.

Both the temporal and spatial dimensions of his art are clearly evident in his work "Jan 1955". In the first painting stage, various colours are splashed onto the paper and daubed across the whole surface; then this static arrangement is scratched and scraped into a spatial event through vigorous application of a rake. The white ‘negative’ lines gouged out of the previously created colours and shapes add a dynamic and dramatic dimension. It is no longer possible to distinguish between foreground and background or positive and negative. The picture itself becomes a visual experience.