Neither real
nor abstract:
“The Shooting Range”

Dieter Goltzsche (*1934)

Drawing by Dieter Goltzsche, ink brush and pencil on paper, 42,1 x 43,6 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

An abstract ink drawing on pale beige paper with watery lines, oblong forms, blobs and a large black dot. In the top half, the black circle cuts a firm figure between two rectangles, with a splattering of little blobs in the one on the right; the bottom half contains curving and straight lines.

Pencil, ink, charcoal, chalk, wax crayon, watercolour – the techniques and colours used by Dieter Goltzsche (*1934) are as diverse as the papers he chooses for his drawings. His art occupies a border zone between figuration and abstraction. Sometimes the lines and shapes describe a chunk of reality, and sometimes they mean nothing more than themselves, suggesting a non-representational narrative. But often his works combine these two extremes. The titles play a part in decoding the various elements.

This folio is called “The Shooting Range” and it dates from 1982. With this knowledge, the ostensibly abstract composition of soft lines, rectangles and ink splashes quickly acquires a spatial quality. The round patch above the centre turns into a bullet hole, the construction on the right becomes the range. With compositions like these Goltzsche, who lived and taught in East Berlin, subverted the political dictate in the GDR that called for socialist realism in art.

The shooting range
Ink brush and pencil on paper
42,1 x 43,6 cm
Gifted from the artist, Berlin 2010

Discover more