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Recent Work

February 19, 2011

Recent work by the artist Käthe Deutsch illustrates the multiple strands of her interest.  The most recent oil paintings are concerned with the edge of landscape, those areas glimpsed when we travel by car, train, bus and air.  Vast areas of the land have been transformed into those spaces in between everywhere else, consisting of derelict urban sites, new factories and retail outlets occupying huge areas in developed countries. 

Our notions and ideas of landscape are shaped by the influences of traditional art, poetry and photography and very often we are unable to look at what is in front of our eyes.  We are so hidebound by classical ideas of landscape and what constitutes a ‘view’ that we have forgotten to see the landscape and how it has been reshaped. 

Käthe uses classical oil techniques and glazes, and painstakingly works out her compositions.  Composition has been largely forgotten in current art practice and her influences are the English painters Stanley Spencer and Edward Burra and the great Mexican muralist painters, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Käthe also specializes in printmaking processes using modern techniques to re-invent the print process.  Printmaking is a very traditional technique which can be hugely improved with the use of non-acid processes, items such as nail varnish, electric sanding tools and the application of fine, small drills.  Her favourite technique is ‘sugar-lift etching’, which involves painting with a mixture of icing sugar and black poster paint onto a plate.  The effect is rather like drawing with a black crayon.  Her work has encompassed subjects such as the local amateur boxing club and she is currently involved in a major project to offer a contemporary interpretation of Francisco Goya’s great work The Disasters of War.  This massive project, which will eventually number 100 plates, offers a devastating portrayal of 21st century warfare.

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