Bearing a Message, 1998

Bearing a Message, 1998
Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

Against a blazing yellowish-green sky and a massive red treetop, a young Black man comes running, laughing. He has spread his arms widely, so that they are nearly touching the image’s borders. It seems as if he wanted to embrace the whole world. And even though his laughing and singing (or shouting) provoke various reactions in the crowd, his appearance proves to be effective

Ruth Baumgarte chose one of the most iconic image formats, a square, for this large oil painting in order to emphasise the universal element of its message. The celebrated unity of human and universe is onomatopoetically supported by the image’s fanfare-like range of colours.