Günter Brus

Crystals of Standstill


Not on display

Günter Brus born 1938
Original title
Kristalle des Stillstands
Graphite, wax crayon, coloured pencil and gold ink on paper
Support: 1228 × 840 mm
frame: 1270 × 875 × 42 mm
Purchased 1984

Catalogue entry

Günter Brus born 1938

T03861 Crystals of Standstill 1983

Pencil, wax crayon, coloured pencil partly dissolved in water, gold ink on brown wrapping paper 1228 x 840 (48 3/8 x 33 1/16)
Inscribed 'G Brus '83' b.l. 'KRISTALLE DES STILLSTANDS' bottom centre over previous inscription (illegible)
Purchased from Galerie Heike Curtze, Düsseldorf (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Lit: Gunter Brus: Trunkene Triebe Zeichnungen 1983, exh.cat., Galerie Heike Curtze, Düsseldorf 1983 (11, repr. in col.)

In a conversation with Richard Calvocoressi on 26 February 1987, Brus said that both the title and image are meant to be read poetically rather than paraphrased. If it is about anything, he continued, the subject of this work is the abrupt freezing of movement: things normally associated with movement and even speed, such as a horse, are brought to a sudden standstill.

Bright colours and vivid, busy backgrounds characterise the images in the drawings of 1983 shown at the exhibition 'Trunkene Triebe' ('Intoxicated Instincts'). However, they seldom contribute so forcefully to the composition as in T03861. Here, the grey fragments of the 'crystal' in the title are suspended, shattered against the gold ground. The images caught in the dynamic explosion are in part readily identifiable, the horse and the two heads for example. Others are more amorphous, organic fragments of large or small scale depending how they are perceived, such as the mushroom-like forms at the bottom left of the image. The embryonic, organic and fantastical imagery of T03861 is common to many of the images exhibited with it. In a letter to the compiler dated 10 June 1988 Brus writes 'above all Viennese painting of the fin de siècle has always inspired me. The 'Trunkene Triebe' are part of many Bild-Dichtungen ['Picture-Poems']. All my exhibitions are individually titled although no individual work is necessarily closely linked to the title'.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.115

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