Red resounding background

Max Weiler Baum, 1972 Eitempera auf Leinwand; 200 × 205 cm EUR 350.000-700.000

Max Weiler
Tree, 1972
Tempura on canvas; 200 x 205 cm
EUR 350,000-700,000

No colour is more luminous, more dynamic or more connected to life (the colour of blood!) than red. Like no other painter, Max Weiler has investigated the power of colour over almost seven decades of tireless and always trailblazing works. He has delved into colours and used them to create a new world in parallel to nature. After a period of reproduction and abstraction, from 1960 the painter set aside the reproduction of things and began, “inventing my own landscapes… structures from the imagination, remembrances of imaginary forms.” (Max Weiler 1970)

Landscapes against resounding backgrounds

was the name he gave to a series of around 100 works created between 1969 and 1973, pictures that he also called “personal landscapes”. However, none of them have the perceptible artistic priority of allowing space to the “sound” of the colours, their energetic and emotional potential, in such a pure form as in this painting, simply titled “Tree”. The background and subject merge here to create an impressively intense, in this case incandescent red, whole.

This power of colours …

to generate the moods of nature, I had almost forgotten it,” wrote Max Weiler in his Day and Night Journals in 1970, “but I am taking advantage of it anew. For practical reasons, I had to invent a few new additions, for example I couldn’t draw on the colour background of the composition in pencil any longer, because you just couldn’t see it. Instead I chose white, or some other light colour … This white drawing on a dark background creates a white network that makes the picture immaterial. It neutralises all three dimensionality. It prevents the picture from being naturalistic and makes it somewhat difficult to understand, while the mood enhancing background, I also call it a “resounding” background, makes it more emotive…”

Parallel to nature

Weiler surpasses himself with a simultaneous and continuous metamorphosis of colour and form itself. In order to show its grandeur, its splendour and its abundance, he primarily uses blossom, flowers and trees as his subjects. His “Tree” from 1972 grows through the medium of art to become a monumental and universal symbol.

This painting will be auctioned on 21st June 2017 in the “Contemporary Art” auction at im Kinsky.

Text: Dr. Edelbert Köb (from the catalogue text), from 2001-2010 Director of the Museums Moderner Kunst (MUMOK), Vienna; since 2001 advisory board member for visual arts at the Federal Chancellery.