33 x 33 cm
42 x 42 cm
Gouache, India Ink, pencil on paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Winterthurer Sozialarchiv
Rotes Quadrat [Red square]
Manfred Schoch (born 1932 in Winterthur, Switzerland, where he died in 2015) is from the second generation of Concrete artists in Switzerland. He was not part of the Zurich but the Winterthur Concretists, a group established by artists like Rainer Alfred Auer, Ulrich Elsener, and Willy Müller-Brittnau in the 1970s. Despite this fact, the Zurich Concretists had a very direct impact on his oeuvre, and Richard Paul Lohse was not only an inspiring role model, he also supported the artist in his early career, as did Camille Graeser.
Schoch first trained as a house painter and decorator. Then, in the 1950s, he began to paint (self-taught) in a figurative style influenced by Edvard Munch and other artists. At the end of the 1950s, he discovered Constructivist and Concrete Art, and he would remain true to this school throughout his artistic career. He worked meticulously to render lines with precision and to create a differentiated layering of individual, finely nuanced color fields in his paintings.
Schoch was especially interested in the effects of color and its subtle nuances. He worked not only with gradual shifts from green to blue to study the nearly imperceptible change, but also with bright red and yellow hues. He used these colors exclusively to form basic geometric elements: The square (and its extension the rectangle), the line, the circle, and the triangle all define the basic structure of his pictures and his art-in-architecture projects. Unlike with abstract art, which is based on a motif outside the picture that is then altered, non-representational art’s idea that forms, colors, and lines must be based on a logic intrinsic to the painting is what informs the way Schoch plays with variations of these independent artistic means. In this way, he proves that Concrete Art has no limits.