Camille Graeser (1892–1980)
Abgewandelte Quadrate, 1943
Oil on canvas
60 x 90 cm
The artist has turned and rotated a number of square surfaces on a lengthways canvas, fitting them into the squares below which, in varying sizes and with their rims partly accentuated by colour, have been piled up in layers. Using contrasting complementary colours, he alters the effects created by the squares singularly and together: green and red surfaces encounter one another, while white squares stand out or recede into the picture space. In this way Graeser places the strict form of the square in a dynamic relationship that permits the eye no rest, and keeps the viewer’s perceptions in constant motion.
This work is based on a totally rational logic. But it is a logic that aims at a no less fundamentally irrational effect – especially through the ingenious interaction between colour and form. Camille Graeser’s work “Abgewandelte Quadrate” [Modified Squares] was done in 1943, at a time when Graeser had resumed his artistic practice after two years in the auxiliary military services. A central concern of his during this phase was with his experiments using a vocabulary of geometrical forms, which dispensed with “every connection to visible reality”.
1892 born in Carouge/Switzerland
1980 died in Wald/Canton Zurich