Museum Ritter
Alfred-Ritter-Straße 27
71111 Waldenbuch

Tel.  +49(0)7157.53511-0 

Karl Duschek
Coding with Squares, 1972

Acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 cm

© Artist

Foto: Gerhard Sauer


Foreground and background appear here to be interchangeable, moving either forwards or back depending on the viewer's angle of vision, and may be read both as space or surface. The image space and thus the surface for the work play for Karl Duschek a no less elemental role than the mutual relationship between the forms: their position, size and volumes, which constitute the point of departure and central principle of his work. The way the small black squares arrange themselves as markings on the regularity of the surface permits them to assert themselves before the pale emptiness of the space. On closer inspection, this seemingly chance conglomeration of individual elements within the mutual simultaneity of vertical, diagonal and horizontal referentiality works, however, according to a communicative principle of order, an internal logic that is clearly legible. Duschek's artistic production is determined by a serialism in which the image concept is always playfully varied, logically altered and examined according to a new set of circumstances. Codierung mit Quadraten [Coding with Squares] is likewise the counterpart of a formal issue in which the code, the combination, is strictly maintained, while the proportional relationship between the elements and substrate has, however, changed.


Karl Duschek's painting, which has also found expression since the early 1980s in wall installations, is in the tradition of constructive-concrete art, in which colour, form and space acquire within the variable configuration of an aesthetic system the status of emancipation from the object. In keeping with the rational aesthetic developed by Max Bense from the stuff of language, Duschek is concerned with the visually comprehended fashioning of socially analogous sign systems and thus with insights into the principles of order, logic and geometry. According to the artist, these make up an important part of thought and action. Visually systematized and thought through with regard to various possible solutions by the playful use of rows and repetitive structures, Codierung mit Quadraten sees itself as the exemplary expression of the intertwining of equivalence and individuality.


Karl Duschek

1947 born in Braunschweig  
2011 died in Stuttgart