Feb 22, 2020 · 4:26 PM

Date Undated
Measurements 3 parts: each 60 x 60 cm
Technique/material Screenprint on paper
Credit Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Inv. no. SK07096
Paul Talman

Boogie – Woogie

Portfolio of 3 screenprints (incomplete)
Paul Talman (born Paul Thalmann in 1932 in Zurich, Switzerland, died 1976 in Ueberstorf, Switzerland) was deeply influenced by his encounter with the artists involved in the magazine “Spirale” and the Galerie 33 in Bern, where he completed his training as a lithographer. After painting abstract works early on in his career, he began focusing on Concrete Art in the 1950s. He primarily worked in series, preferring objects, sculptures, and graphic arts in place of classic painting. His main interest was participatory and Kinetic Art. Appointed by Karl Gerstner, Talman served as the art director of the advertising agency GGK from 1959 to 1972. In the 1960s, he also began building up his reputation as an industrial designer (working for clients such as the Knoll company and Theo Jakob). Talman’s work in all three fields often overlapped and was characterized by his exquisite sense of style, his high standard of elegance, and his affinity for glamour.
Talman landed his first lasting success with his so-called “Kugelbilder” (ball pictures), which are works focusing on participation that he invented in 1961. Their construction is based on two differently colored square panels, one mounted on top of the other, with a smaller square field consisting of bi-colored balls embedded in the middle. The number of balls can vary from 25 to 676. They are mounted in such a way that they can be turned manually in all directions. The beholder can chose from an infinite selection of formations to create “their own pictures” according to their liking (“K 196,” 1968). The only exception is the small object “Œil de Sartre,” in which the position of the ball is fixed (in reference to Sartre’s lazy eye).
Talman was fascinated by what he called the “American Style,” which he addressed as “Americanismen” in his kinetic roll pictures and column sculptures, as well as his works revolving around his “Boogie-Woogie” theme. These include four large paintings (a medium that Talman rarely used), a portfolio of four screen prints (“Boogie-Woogie,” undated), and one so-called roll picture. In all three versions, the acoustic experience of tempo and sound is visually translated into the constantly changing rhythm of the bar structures.

Elisabeth Grossmann




With financial support by:

Lotteriefonds Canton of Zurich

Baugarten Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Dr. Adolph Streuli-Stiftung
Stiftung Kunstsammlung Albert und Melanie Rüegg



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Feb 22, 2020
4:15:00 PM CET