Karl-Otto Götz



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Karl-Otto Götz born 1914
Lithograph on paper
Image: 260 × 208 mm
Transferred from the Library 1987

Catalogue entry

P08216 Untitled 1953
Ohne Titel

Lithograph 260 × 208 (10 1/4 × 8 1/8) on wove paper 260 × 208 (10 1/4 × 8 1/8); printer not known; inset in Edouard Jaguer (ed.), Phases, I, published by Paul Fachetti, Paris 1954; not otherwise editioned
Printed inscription ‘K.O. Götz 53’ b.r.
Transferred from the Library 1987

P08216 is a non-representational image consisting of quickly drawn, looping black lines of varying density and thickness, on white paper. It was one of two lithographs originally inserted, along with an untitled lithograph by Willi Baumeister of the same year (see entry on P08214), in the first issue of the periodical Phases. Phases was an annual publication, first published in Paris in 1954. It was dedicated to contemporary art and literature and several issues contained original prints, the majority bound in the magazine rather than inset. The first series of Phases ran until the early 1960s and a second short-lived series began in 1969 and ended in 1970. Götz lived in Frankfurt during the 1950s but visited Paris frequently. In conversation with the compiler in Germany on 18 May 1990, the artist said that he did not regard P08216 as a particularly important print. He recalled that it was executed ‘almost in an automatist manner’. With its speedily executed circular gestures, P08216 contrasts with the more sweeping, even more vigorously gestural, imagery found in the majority of Götz's drawings and prints of this period. In the first volume of his memoirs, Götz described how he came to be involved with Phases:

From 22 until 28 January 1954 I took part in a group show at the Studio Facchetti [in Paris]. At the same time the first number of the periodical Phases, edited by my friend Edouard Jaguer in Paris, appeared. When, during the autumn of 1953, we were discussing the content of the first issue, I hit upon the title Phases by co-incidence. Jaguer immediately concurred. At Fachetti's Jaguer presented works by several of the artists included in the first issue..

(Karl Otto Götz, Erinnerung und Werk, Ia, Düsseldorf 1983, p.626)

The other artists in the Studio Fachetti show were Alechinsky, Arnal, Bryen, Capogrossi, Corneille, Georges, Gillet, Greis, Hayter, Haese, Herold, Jorn, Matta, Nieva, Schultze and Tajiri.

With its combination of sweeping lines and gestural brush marks, P08216 shows some affinity to another untitled lithograph of the same year which was inserted into the March edition (no.10) of the journal Meta (repr. Götz 1983, p.561). In a letter to the compiler dated 28 January 1994, Götz said that he had printed this lithograph and P 08216 around the corner from where he lived in Frankfurt, although he could no longer remember the name of the printer. He had drawn directly onto lithographic plates, which were printed on a small Rotaprint press. Götz began using lithographic stones several years later, in 1958.

The artist has approved this entry.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996


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