Trilogy "Driving Forces of the Earth" | May-Sep 2019

Photography & PaintingPhoto: Christoph Franke

With the suggestion of my artist colleague Martin Gensbaur, painter from Dießen, we both started a cooperation of photography and painting with the theme "Driving forces of the earth". With reference to Fritz Winter's world-famous work of the same name, which was created at our home in Dießen am Ammersee, we investigated the question of what defines the artist's place and where there are similarities between us and Fritz Winter. As part of our project, the book "Das Kunstfenster Nr. 5 - Triebkräfte der Erde" was published by Scaneg Verlag in Munich. We juxtaposed our photos and paintings and showed them in an exhibition trilogy from May to September 2019 with always different works. The first was the "Kunstfenster", Martin Gensbaur's studio in Dießen and at the same time the embryo of the idea.

Our starting point: KUNSTFENSTER of Martin Gensbaur, exhibition May 19Photo: Christoph Franke
This was followed by the Garden Hall of the Venio Abbey in Munich. In keeping with the location, I had thought of a central sacral hanging in the form of a cross, surrounded by other groups.
Venue number 2: Abbey VENIO in Munich, exhibition Jul - Sep 19Photo: Christoph Franke

Concluding the exhibition was the atrium gallery of the Haus der bayrischen Landwirtschaft in Herrsching am Ammersee. Herrsching is on the on the one hand the place, where Fritz Winter died, on the other hand the house is located in direct neighbourhood to many of my Daydream & Nightwalk photographs, which are presented in the project.

Venue number 3: Atrium of Haus der bayerischen Landwirtschaft with surrounding gallery wallsPhoto: Martin Gensbaur

Here the view into all three exhibitions as slideshow:
[Click for overview]


The book on the exhibition trilogy is available from Munich-based Scaneg Verlag (ISBN 978-3-89235-245-7).

View excerpt as PDF.

The book: "Das Kunstfenster 5 - Triebkräfte der Erde

"75 years ago, a series of pictures was created in the artists' village of Dießen am Ammersee that should not be missing in any art history of the twentieth century. During a short recovery holiday from the front, the painter Fritz Winter created over 50 works on paper around 1944, to which he later gave the common title "Triebkräfte der Erde" ("Driving Forces of the Earth"). After the war, they ensured the artist's worldwide fame. The two editors, art historian Ulrike and painter Martin Gensbaur, recall this in the fifth edition of the series DAS KUNSTFENSTER. After a brief introduction to Fritz Winter's famous picture series, Martin Gensbaur talks to the art historian Thomas Raff, who is responsible for important publications on the Ammersee Westufer and its artists, and to Michael Gausling, director of the Dießener Galerie im Fritz-Winter-Atelier and great nephew of Fritz Winter. Finally, each of the three artists represented in the publication with illustrations will have their say - Fritz Winter, of course, only in the form of a quotation. This publication, written from a local perspective, is less about Fritz Winter and his picture series, which have been sufficiently published elsewhere, than about the dialogue between contemporary painting and photography on a common theme, as in other previous editions. Martin Gensbaur's works from the 90s contrast with Christoph Franke's current photographs on both sides. The pictures of the two artists deal with trees, obvious if one does not search for the "driving forces" under the earth like the former miner Fritz Winter, but above it. Perhaps the contemporary's photography is about something quite different than Fritz Winter's or Martin Gensbaur's paintings. And do the two younger ones - apart from their place of residence - have anything in common with an abstract painter of the post-war years? The art window dares a comparison in that the pictures speak."