59.2 x 100.5 x 100.5 cm
Synthetic resin paint on wood
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Das Progressive Museum Basel
[Design model for a table]
The works by the German painter, architect, and graphic artist Erich Buchholz (born 1891 in Bydgoszcz, Poland (then Bromberg, Germany), died 1972 in Berlin, Germany) are abstract compositions based on geometric forms set at various angles to each other. Buchholz was interested in creating a homogenous pictorial surface of equally important elements to establish a pictorial form that was characteristic for Concrete Art.
In the 1920s, Erich Buchholz experimented with drawings and woodcuts in which he used carved blocks painted in different colors. He then exhibited these as reliefs, instead of using them for printing. The spatial effect of his wooden relief composed of geometrical shapes in three colors from 1922/1958 reminds us of El Lissitzky’s Proun pictures. In 1922, Erich Buchholz ceased painting and devoted himself from then on entirely to architecture, advertising graphics, and product design. Now and again, he also integrated Dadaist elements in his work. Buchholz systematically translated his art, which he already conceived as three-dimensional, into architectural drafts. He thus designed his Berlin studio at Herkulesufer programmatically as a spatial artistic ensemble. He also designed buildings with layered shells as well as his “Buchholz-Ei,” which was an egg-shaped house. Although Buchholz was familiar with Constructivism, Suprematism, Expressionism, Dadaism, and with the Bauhaus philosophy, he never joined any of these movements. Instead, he wrote his own texts about his artistic work. In his published works “Die Idee ist der Todfeind des Lebens” [The Idea Is the Mortal Enemy of Life] from 1922 and “An meinem Fall scheitert die offizielle Kunstgeschichte” [Official Art History Fails in My Case] from 1969, he discusses art in the 1920s and the theoretical debates about the (at the time) typical contemporary artistic practice rooted in everyday life. Because Buchholz was banned from painting and exhibiting during the Nazi regime, he could not practice his idea that “there is nothing that does not derive from – a translated – reality and there is no reality that – when translated – does not become image or metaphor” in his abstract art until after 1945.
Dominique von Burg