Regen | Horst Munch

Regen 1984 | Painting 74,8 x 137,7 Inch

Discover the biography and all work of the artist

Measuring an impressive 1.90m by 3.50m, Regen opens itself up to the audience like a large window overlooking a cloudy, almost colourless world. Starting from the top of the painting, our eyes are drawn to a dark shadow moving upwards; indeed, the colour gets lighter towards the bottom of the painting, showing the artist's movement between the various levels.

This is where a burst of light stops us in our tracks: an oblong white spot - perhaps the sun - captivates us and if we look a little closer, two lines of green and yellow pastels appear to sketch an abstract figure in the work's only patch of light.

The artist has used an intensely coloured wood stain, spread in a somewhat random and cursory way using a broom on the picture as it lay on the floor. The canvas was then lifted up, which explains the streaks. Here we see Horst Münch's fascination with Chinese painting. For him, using wood stain is similar to using Indian ink.

Münch's work is always energetic and packed with material. His palette emphasises dark, waxy pigments, which he mixes in a way that breaks the rules of order and space; he is following closely in the footsteps of German expressionists.

The title, Regen (rain), refers to this shower of wood stain on the canvas, bringing to life a touching work that is reminiscent of the cold German landscapes seen in classical paintings.

The theme of an image's appearance or disappearance runs through the whole of the work by the artist who tries to capture the moment between its appearance and dilution. Münch does not seek to depict an aspect of reality, he even claims that he is unable to do so. He simply reveals the various stages involved in creating the piece and gives us the freedom to extend it in our imagination.