Kurt Merk (✝12.02.2012)
1924 born in Nuremberg
1939/42 School for Lithography and attending the paint- and depicting
School Hoppenlau in Stuttgart
1946 contact to Willi Baumeister circle
1964 moving to Munich
I want to bring you to heart a speech my father held at an opening of one of his exhibitions:
What does a painter think while he paints? Although this is difficult to say, I will tell you some processes which painters are familiar with and from which you can draw some conclusions.
It starts with a small part of our wide world, who had long since been in the painters mind and after thinking back and forth, he determines it as the topic for a new image. This idea can expand over a long time, maybe even years. The painter, without distinction in how he works, considers the arrangement of the forms and sets the first color on the paper, to the canvas, cardboard or wood, whatever it may be - and it has happened: he can no longer go back and the adventure that came from an idea has begun.
We still do not know what is going on in the painters mind, he still does not tell us; maybe his thoughts cannot be put into words and emerge on the canvas where you have to decipher it.
During his work it does not take long until imagination with its constant insinuations tries to force the painter out of his plans, tries to seduce him into a small excursion because the topic is quite variable.
The painter, if he is strong, escapes those polyphonic enticements, and finds his way without looking right nor left. But suddenly he discovers something new before his eyes: The meaning of the colors has changed unnoticed because new ones have appeared, and also the shape is no longer the same - and what about the red thread of his subject? That has been lost somewhere in the background. That could be the images luck because finally that unknown land with its magic has been captured by the painter, and if he follows there, he will not return, so they say.
For each artist the day will come on which he doubts. First of all he doubts his pictures, then himself. If painting with watercolor, at times his anger is directed against the paper, which for some unknown reason, will not let the color flow an inch. At that point he just sees two options: Depending on his disposition and temperament he tears it at the very beginning or he grimly continues to paint. Note, if he decides to do the latter, he could possibly stand as the winner but just against the paper. His soul is wounded and he vows never to put color on a wayward canvas again.
He is demanding and critical to himself and his work. Even the painter does not know what he did before he does the last brush stroke, because like every adventure it reveals his secret only when it´s over.
After this descriptions one can assume that painting just has to do with doubts, temptations, difficulties and fury. But during the creation of an image or when considering right before completion the painter may feel joy, which sometimes increases to enthusiasm, or even euphoria which is not too far away from arrogance. One can easily recognize how dangerous the path is, on which he moves.
After these brief remarks about painting a picture we still do not know, what the painter really thinks while painting, but maybe another time I'll tell you more about it. This topic is quite inexhaustible.
For your virtual tour I wish for a positive approach and I think, that the paintings have earned that. Have fun!
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