Series "A la recherche du temps perdu" (Nocturnal Encounter), 1990

Series "A la recherche du temps perdu" (Nocturnal Encounter), 1990
Watercolor on paper, 75,1 x 55,4 cm

Half a dozen cats watch from a rubbish bin at the edge of a building site as two other cats fight over territory. Teeth bared, one car is bending over its rival, which is lying on the ground. The first cat has won and the loser is baring its throat and stretching out its paws in submission.

The location for this nocturnal is in the process of demolition. An excavator shovel hangs above strangely-lit container buildings. To the left is a large pile of rubble. The solitary passer-by at the right of the picture appears unable to find a way through to the town in the background with its bar and palm trees.

Yet as bleak as this backcourt scene is, the soft and subtle greens, purples and oranges give it a delicate and almost surreal feeling. As in other Baumgarte works, the cat is the central figure in an existential situation between loss and change.