Dibon. 1989. Mixed media on panel. Signed and dated in lower right. 77 x 104 cm (30.3 x 40.9 in).
• Fascinating example of Schumacher's Action-Painting, the abstract motif is a marvelous document of a highly dynamic painting process. • One of Schumacher's rare informal compositions based on the powerful contrast between black and yellow. • A similar golden-yellow composition by Schumacher from 1989 is part of the collection of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt a. M. • The color has a remarkable presence and expresses Schumacher's wish to treat color as tangible matter.
We are grateful to Dr. Ulrich Schumacher, Emil Schumacher Foundation Hagen, for his kind expert advice. The work is registered at the archive with the number "0/190".
PROVENANCE: Galerie Hans Strelow, Düsseldorf (verso with the label). Private collection Rhineland.
"All of Schumacher's pictures are unique objects in a special sense. There are no sketches, no preliminary drawings. Nothing is planned or even programmed. There is just a general, undetermined open concept at the beginning of every work." Karl Ruhrberg, Emil Schumacher. Zeichen und Farbe, Cologne 1987, p. 27.
Schumacher, who began to make abstract gestural paintings in the early 1950s, soon found his unmistakable style and quickly became one of the most important protagonists of German Post-War Abstraction. His creations are impulsive and colorful, even today the enormous plasticity of the color makes them inspiring. Color as matter is at the center of Schumacher's action painting, who succeeds in making the haptic presence tangible on the canvas in a fascinating way: "For the action painter restlessness is the artist's first and foremost duty. [.] Informal painting always tended to advance into the third dimension [.] Schumacher saw the latent object character of his pictures and consequently made the attempt to bring their inner form to the outside. [.] Schumacher wanted, as he said, to concentrate on the center of the picture, and to leave out the 'inessentials of the background', to make the material the motif of the image conception more rigorously than ever before and to emphasize the tactile charm of the humps and hollows, nets and craters. " (Karl Ruhrberg, Emil Schumacher. Zeichen und Farbe, Cologne 1987, p. 22). In "Dibon" we encounter a wonderfully haptic color relief, which is to be explored and which inspires with a golden yellow color that is rarely found in Schumacher's painterly creation. After earthy-brown beginnings in the 1950s, Schumacher's work became increasingly dominated by red and blue compositions alongside the works in earthy tones. Probably one of the first works in black and yellow was "Bing" from 1966, an extremely powerful color combination that would from then on occasionally pop up in Schumacher's oeuvre. "Salangan" (1989) is a comparable composition, it is also borne out of the contrast between the powerful black line structures and the golden yellow fund. Today it is part of the collection of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main. As early as in 1958 Schumacher received the Guggenheim Award for his work and was represented at the Venice Biennial. A year later he showed several works at the documenta II. Schumacher became one of the most important representatives of European Informalism. He was an action artist who treated the canvas that lay stretched out in front of him on the floor with eccentric gestures. Most recently the exhibition "Le Grand Geste! Informel und Abstrakter Expressionismus 1946-1964" (2010) at the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, honored Schumacher's work in the context of American Action Painting. [JS]