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GUNTER CHRISTMANN
TERRA SUBPEDE

JUNE 27 - JULY 20, 2023
BY APPOINTMENT 
+35 1 920 147 208

LARGO DA PRINCESA 23 / 2 ESQ
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No postwar German painter - Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Martin KIppenberger - can be understood outside the context of German political and cultural experience...

Gunter Christmann is of no exception. 
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Untitled 
Watercolour and pencil on paper
18 x 13.5 cm (inner frame)
1975



Untitled
Watercolour, felt tip pen and pencil on paper
18 x 13.5 cm (inner frame)
1975
Gunter Christmann (23 April 1936 – 19 November 2013) was a German-born Australian painter.  A self-taught late bloomer into the artworld, Gunter conveyed a rich understanding of colour and form, composition and drawing were his touchstones.

CHAUFFEUR is pleased to showcase a suite of rare, collectible and beautifully composed works on paper produced between the period 1975~1977.

Christmann´s comprehension of nature - or the natural order manifest an interest and philosophy in urban debris and the ubiquity of trash.  Admiring the process of chance and elements of transformation. Christmann would later coin the term as Terra Subpede - meaning, the earth underfoot.  

Known as a figurative painter Christmann developed framing devices to register a surface. These devices became know as shuffle boxes, dry boxes and float tanks. Christmann would collect trash - organics and inorganics; plastics, sticks, nuts and other forms of debris - so negligible they would go unnoticed. Elements would either sink or float, and could shuffle by subtle tapping or gentle movement to form beautifully composed compositions. An act of abstraction without much painting taking place. 


Portrait of Gunter Christmann in Berlin, 1973
Photo credit: Georg Christmann

The important suite of works on paper for `Terra Subpede`evidently showcase the rendering of how Gunter percieved nature - or suggesting patterns in relation to nature can be found in the urban environment.  An image of nature Christmann regarded as more realistic than a landscape painting. 

Christmann's work is included in most major public and corporate collections in Australia, including AGNSW, Art Gallery of NSW, extensive holdings in the NGA, National Gallery of Australia and NGV, National Gallery of Victoria.
Internationally in the collections of Berlinische Galerie - Museum of Modern Art, Berlin, H.R.M. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands' Collection, British Museum, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.

This is Gunter Christmann´s first prsentation in Lisbon and Portugal.