Gerhard von Graevenitz

5 Black Rectangles on White


Not on display

Gerhard von Graevenitz 1934–1983
Wood and motor
Object: 1200 × 1197 × 121 mm
Purchased 1973

Catalogue entry

Gerhard von Graevenitz born 1934 [- 1983]

T01822 5 Black Rectangles on White 1973

Inscribed on the back 'oben' (with an arrow) and 'graevenitz | 73'
Motorized wood relief, 47 1/4 x 47 1/8 x 4 3/4 (120 x 119.8 x 12)
Purchased from the artist through the Lucy Milton Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1973
Exh: Gerhard von Graevenitz, Lucy Milton Gallery, London, November 1973 (works not listed)
Repr: exh. catalogue Gerhard von Graevenitz, Kunsthalle, Kiel, and tour of German museums, 1974-5, n.p.

The artist wrote (letter of 10 May 1974) that this was one of the two latest works in his London exhibition. It was the first of its sort, finished only a few months before his exhibition and never shown elsewhere. He finds it impossible however to say whether any particular work marks the beginning of a new development. Although he tries to follow a logical course in his work he can never predict what will follow because the logic has its own laws. 'Otherwise there would not be a creative process.'

The sort of movement he used in this work he tried for the first time in an environment for Studio Marconi in Milan in January-February 1973. There he hung 8 black panels (each about 4 x 3m) in front of the walls and made them move in the same way: sideways. There was light behind the panels, so the illumination of the space was also changed by the movement. That environment was again the result of another work and so on ...

'The movement is random in the sense that there is no repetition within a time you would remember. Better: the movement is not predictable but not random in a scientific sense.'

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.329-30, reproduced p.329

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