24 October 2008 – 15 February 2009
MARTIN FROMMELT. Early and Recent Paintings
The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is showing works by Martin Frommelt, one of the most important painter and graphic artist in Liechtenstein after 1945.
Martin Frommelt is of outstanding importance both for the development and the understanding of art in Liechtenstein. Frommelt was born in Schaan in 1933 and became interested in art at an early age. He received his first training from his uncle, Canon Anton Frommelt, himself a painter and photographer, and also in charge of the estate of the artist Ferdinand Nigg (died 1949), who had brought modernism to Liechtenstein. Frommelt began to go his own direction in the 1950s, while he was studying painting in Paris. Although his work was also marked by the École de Paris, which still largely dominated the European art world, the influence of Nigg and Canon Frommelt still persisted.
On returning to Liechtenstein Martin Frommelt was involved for a long time in art for buildings. In addition, he worked on three partly monumental print cycles which forced his painting somewhat into the background. In 1970 he published the sequence of woodblock prints Apokalypse, in 1986 the folio of etchings Vähtrieb-Viehtrieb containing 122 sheets, and finally, in 1999, Creation – Fünf Konstellationen zur Schöpfung with 214 colour lithographs, which latter gained the artist remarkable international success. Frommelt continued to be interested in the enamel technique, in which he also created an extensive work cycle.
Yet Frommelt did not cease to paint alongside all these activities, and the aim of this exhibition is to present this particular area of his oeuvre, which, paradoxically, is the least well-known. The works on show will include the early years in Paris as well as paintings he has produced over the past year and a half.
The exhibition demonstrates how Frommelt has always succeeded in combining his painting with his preoccupation with graphic and other artistic techniques. It was precisely his experiences with these techniques that repeatedly led to a renewal of his painting, which has remained inventive and vigorous.
The exhibition has been produced by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, curated by Friedemann Malsch.
Martin Frommelt, untitled, 2008
Martin Frommelt, Velodrom Paris, 1954
Martin Frommelt in his studio, 2008