Otto Ritschl

Work in the collection: Otto Ritschl, Composition, 1954, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm

Otto Ritschl was a painter from Wiesbaden. In his first creative phase he turned to Expressionism, inspired by the works of Oskar Kokoschka. After a socially critical interlude in the style of New Objectivity, he turned to contemporary art in France in the mid-1920s. During his stay in Paris he met Picasso and Max Ernst. In 1925 he destroyed the paintings he had made up to then and dealt with Surrealism and Cubism, in particular with works by Georges Braque. During National Socialism, Ritschl was one of the degenerate artists, and he continued to paint in secret during this period. After the war, paintings were created that were influenced by Picasso and the modern era of the 1930s. Finally, in the 1950s, he found his personal abstract style of painting, based on stricter geometric constructivist forms. Towards the end of the 1950s, Otto Ritschl freed himself from the rigor and clarity of his painting. The forms become softer, color-graded transitions and differentiations find their way into his pictures. From about 1960 paintings with dominating apparently floating color discs, so-called monochromatic “meditation paintings”. But Ritschl continued to paint pictures with color fields, blurred, soft, cloud-like forms, which often had bright colors in his late work from the mid-1960s.

born 1885 in Erfurt
From 1908 Ritschl lives and works in Wiesbaden
In 1918 he turned away from his work as a writer and began to paint
1920s turns to contemporary art in France, travels to Paris
In 1925 he destroyed the works he had painted up to then and dealt with surrealism and cubism
1925 Founding of the Freie Künstlerschaft Wiesbaden
From the 1950s , Ritschl found his own personal abstract style of painting
died in Wiesbaden in 1976