Von Max Ernst bis Eduardo Chillida - Die Sammlung Wilfried und Gisela Fitting
Ever since I was first exposed to Max Ernst as a teenager, his fascinating life and oeuvre has never not proved to be immensely influential on me and anyone remotely interested in surrealist art and has had the misfortune of not being familiar, should start investigating to gain insight into a fantastic world of aberrant art that reaches far beyond Salvador Dali.
On the other end of the spectrum of Wilfried and Gisela Fitting’s collection, which is being shed light on in this opulently illustrated tome, is an artist that has become known for monumental and spatially complex multimedia art with the focus always firmly set on paying homage to the sublime, i.e. Eduardo Chillida.
Fitting’s collection started in the 1960s and is informed by a keen vision and understanding of the respective artist’s significance, which at times took decades to be validated by a mainstream audience. The curation of the more than two hundred artworks is substantiated with essays and elaborations on their provenance, which expertly highlight the merits of e.g. Hans Arp, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Joan Miró, amongst the two.
There is a delicate subtlety that informs the approach the Fitting Collection as it refrains from loud and declamatory tones without ever risking diminishing the importance of the various artists.
As an avid collector of books on Max Ernst, I specifically enjoyed some of his lesser known decalcomaniacal works, i.e. where he applied paint to the canvas to depict often grotesque mythological figures by pressing it against a flat surface, gives the result a mossy, furry or marshy appearance and what resulted in his emissions being considered as “Entartete Kunst” by the Third Reich aesthetic.
The book whets my appetite to experience the Fitting Collection in the third dimension, which makes a visit to the Kunstmuseum Bonn, where it is permanently exhibited, mandatory.