Paul Wunderlich: Paintings, Sculpture and Works on Paper From Six Decades
- Alex Hetherington
- 16 April 2009
Compass Gallery’s museum-style six-decade retrospective of this German-born octogenarian visual artist is a voice from the past, articulating the development of style, technique and medium across the last century and into this, and includes references to numerous art movements along the way: surrealism, abstract expressionism, superrealism and touching on impressionism and the Renaissance, all of which witnesses an agitated but abundant desire to make, create, draw, record, cite. The show is packed with works: paintings, sculptures, etchings and print editions with little regard given to chronology or context, which is both frustrating and appealing, giving a sense of an insatiable appetite for creativity.
Where Wunderlich comes undone in this creative propulsion is his one-dimensional representation of women and femininity – all youth, naked, perfect and unattainable. Beautifully painted they may be but they do suffer from an over-simplification to his perspective on women. Wunderlich has a mastery of technique, of mark-making which often lacks substance or insight given the historical and political turmoil he has lived through. Where his strengths do lie are in his graphic language and his mistakes, traces of his experimentation, his senses of doubt and hesitation beyond his talents with paint and ink. The final impression of this worthwhile, plentiful show is someone in love with art, nourished by the labour of making, which clearly works as he continues his prolific endeavours well into old age.
Compass Gallery, Glasgow, until Tue 28 Apr