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Detail of picture "Blutrausch", 2017 | photo: Annette Kradisch


From 9 February 2018, new paintings by Ottmar Hörl will be on view at Galerie Kasten in Mannheim. Entitled "Blutrausch" [Bloodlust], the exhibition is an invitation to engage in multi-layered interpretations relevant to our day and age.

Louis Soutter, Heinz Trökes, Hartwig Ebersbach, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Julian Schnabel, Günther Uecker, and even Georg Baselitz – all these are artists who appreciate, or appreciated, the technique of finger painting, this direct, archaic, immediate form of expression. With his new series of works based on this method, Ottmar Hörl, who specialises in spotting the gaps in art history, has made a valuable contribution to abstract painting. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, as only few know that Hörl's extensive oeuvre includes almost every genre.

During the past months, Ottmar Hörl created his series of works entitled "Blutrausch" [Bloodlust] and "Naturschauspiel" [Natural Wonders] using all of his ten fingers. He deliberately confined the process of painting to a narrow time slot. Hörl's system of finger painting only works as long as the quick-drying acrylic paint is still liquid. "Sometimes six minutes can be a long time, existential, a whole life can be captured in that time span," says Ottmar Hörl. The procedure allows for no hesitation, no indecision. It is aimed at creating abstract shapes with breathtaking dynamism and depth, reminiscent of nature, yet open to multi-layered interpretation.

n the early 1980s, Ottmar Hörl made a name for himself with his first radical serial paintings on corrugated polyester sheets, paintings that found their way into major private collections and museums. Now he has succeeded in adding an exciting new twist to gestural painting as an example of artistic licence.


(Translation of a text by Friedrich Kasten)


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