Name: Raimund Girke
Country of Origin: DE
Raimund Girke was a German artist well known for his analytical style of painting and his explorations of the color white. Born in 1930 in Heinzendorf, he studied at the Hanover school of decorative arts in the early 1950s, and at the Arts Academy of Düsseldorf.
Girke’s first paintings were sombre and characterized by visible brush strokes forming a criss-cross pattern. He was influenced by abstract expressionism, but also desired to seek a more objective style, and began using a fixed approach to color and line in his pieces. By the age of 27, he had begun to work mainly with the color white, accompanied by blue and brown tones. He felt that other colors were distracting; as he wrote, “Polychromy prevents color from making an impact, given the constant competition, whereas the restriction of the color scale enables one color to manifest its full intensity. The brightest color, the most luminous and intense color, is white.” Girke wished to explore the complexities and subtleties of white, searching for an order within its infinite variations.
His works are a reaction to what he deemed visual stimulus satiation in art, and therefore, he attempted to bring viewers of his pieces to a level of concentration that reflected his desire to portray the calmness of nature’s continuous change: “white demands meditation”, as he wrote in 1965.
Throughout his career, up until his death in 2002 in Cologne, Girke’s pieces remained within the boundaries of controlled geometric abstraction, while exploring fundamental physical phenomena such as light, motion, rhythm, and vibration. His body of work is characterized by a remarkable continuity.
Girke participated in the 1977 Documenta VI in Kassel, Germany and his work is in many important museums such as the National Gallery in Berlin, the Sprengel Museum, and Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, to name a few. His paintings are internationally traded.