Water Carrier, 1991

Water Carrier, 1991
Oil on cardboard, 137 x 98 cm

The painting Water Carrier marks a turning point in Ruth Baumgarte’s artistic work. Already at the end of the 1950s, the artist gathered some first impressions of the African continent. From the 1980s onwards, she often explored the continent on her own during months of travelling. Inspired by the intense colour chords and the societal breaches of the African cultures, which she came into contact with through the landscapes as well as the social life in the villages and cities, she decided to paint in oils again.

One journey to South Africa turns into the starting point for a fully new way of working with colours in her works; this way, she masterfully brings the gloss and depth of her impressions onto canvas. From now on, and just like in Water Carrier, rich and pastose colours take over and engage figure and landscape, woman and man, and nature’s elemental forces in intense dialogues.