Karl Otto Götz

Ohne Titel

Karl Otto Götz, Ohne Titel

Gouache on handmade paper

30 × 23 cm / 11 13/16 × 9 1/16 in

Signed and dated »53« also stamped on the verso with a faded »Sammlung Rissa-Götz« stamp

Edition of From the special edition of the autobiography by K.O. Götz, »Erinnerungen und Werk, Band Ia und Ib«, Concept-Verlag, Dusseldorf 1983

Online-Catalogue Raisonné by K.O. Götz und Rissa-Stiftung no. WVP-185/53

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We thank Mr Joachim Lissmann, K.O. Götz and Rissa Foundation, for the confirmation of the work's authenticity


The artist’s studio; Galerie AXIOM, Cologne (acquired directly from the artist, 1983-1990); Private Collection North Rhine-Westphalia (1990-2022)

  • Galerie Ludorff, Neuerwerbungen Frühjahr 2023, Düsseldorf 2023
  • Galerie Ludorff, "Neuerwerbungen Frühjahr 2023", Düsseldorf 2023, S. 42

Karl Otto Götz began to explore abstraction as early as 1933. However, his early work, created before the Second World War, was almost completely destroyed during a bombing raid on Dresden. After the war, Götz was the only German artist to become a member of the international COBRA group of artists around Karel Appel, Asger Jorn and Corneille in 1949. His non-objective painting was a central contribution to the worldwide movement in the visual arts, which broke new ground formally after 1945 by initiating the radical dissolution of the classical principle of form.1)

From 1952 onwards, Götz found his typical, gestural style of painting. His compositions are well thought out. Before Götz begins an oil painting, he first makes studies in gouache, acrylic or pencil in order to develop a basic composition. Only when the idea for the painting has reached a mature stage is he ready to take up brush and canvas. The previously conceived and precisely calculated forms and structures are then transferred to the canvas in a matter of seconds. In our 1953 gouache, you can clearly see the artist's movements during the creative process and the resulting dynamics of the forms. Using black and white and just one colour - red - he creates a harmonious composition that seems to move both in time and space.

The artist's success initially began abroad in the mid-1950s: France, the USA and Italy honoured the artist early on with solo exhibitions.2) He was represented at the Venice Biennale in 1958 and took part in documenta II in 1959. From 1959 to 1979, he taught as a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Numerous important artists such as Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Gotthard Graubner and Franz Erhard Walther were among his students.

1) This common movement with regional differences has gone down in art history as "Abstract Expressionism" in the USA, known in France as "Tachisme" or "Abstraction Lyrique" and in Germany as "Informel".

2) Götz exhibited in France as early as 1947 and in the USA in 1954.


About Karl Otto Götz

After 1945, Karl Otto Götz broke new ground. As member of the "German Informel" and Professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, he devoted himself to the dissolution of the classical principle of form and experimental art.

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