The World of Employment (Industrialization III), 1964

The World of Employment (Industrialization III), 1964
Watercolor and pencil on ivory-colored paper, 30,7 x 22 cm

The watercolor was created in 1964 for Eisenwerke Baumgarte's 1965 calendar. The focus of the composition is a tractor or construction vehicle that drives effectively towards the viewer. The driver turns backwards - what he is looking at is not visible. The realistic design of the towing vehicle is given dynamic liveliness through the use of differentiated colors.

The middle ground shows a steel cast, which explains the explosive, yellow-orange color and the workers on the right edge of the picture. In the background there are industrial buildings with conveyor belts and ore heaps in purple and blue. It cannot be clarified whether it is an industrial plant in the Ruhr area or a project abroad, which is the case with two other pictures in this series.

In this sheet, Ruth Baumgarte uses the luminosity of watercolors in an impressive and almost expressive way. She does not use local colors, but subjects the coloring of the objects to an inner, expressively charged visual logic. The sheet can be interpreted in two ways: On the one hand, technical progress and industrial development are presented impressively and with positive connotations. The vehicle in the foreground is a product of the iron and steel industry and historically means a tremendous reduction in workload for agriculture and road construction.

On the other hand, the negative ecological effects of the uninhibited industrialization of the post-war period can already be felt in the 1960s. Perhaps Ruth Baumgarte indicates this aspect in the sheet with the industrial plants given in the colors of melancholy. Later in the 1970s, she created further compositions in which she turned out to be a critical observer of the ongoing destruction of the environment.