Series "One-Eyed-David", 1983

Series "One-Eyed-David", 1983 (When), 1983
Three-part sequence, sepia on paper, various dimensions

Ruth Baumgarte's work often addressed contemporary events. Her unerring eye explored the major changes in the relationship between the individual and society, and her work laid bare the ruinous depths of the 1970s and 1980s. Allegorical motifs played an increasingly important role. Baumgarte moved away from austere imagery and towards symbolist and in some cases surreal compositions. She created a number of series centred around forms of collective memory.

Her three-part series Einäugiger David from 1983 probably relates to growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the early 1980s. At the centre of the dark sepia drawing is the half-length portrait of the titular David, the first and most important King of Judah and Israel. We see an older man in the dress of a deeply religious Jew, with a kippah, beard and sidelocks. The light falls on his bony hands, which he is raising in a questioning gesture. The word "When" (Wann) is written on a piece of paper on the mat. To what does it refer? Not to a past event: the power mast in the background indicates that this is a question for today's world. The people appear to be on a quest for a safe place, a permanent home in a modern context, as the scene with the house and power supply behind the modern David reveals. With the motifs of expulsion and flight, Ruth Baumgarte addresses topics that she would also go on to explore in depth in her Africa cycle.

Complete Series - One-Eyed-David

Series "One-Eyed-David", 1983 (When), 1983
Sepia on paper, 63,5 x 45,5 cm
Series "One-Eyed-David", 1983 (Where to), 1983
Sepia on paper, 74,7 x 55,6 cm
Series "One-Eyed-David", 1983 (Where to), 1983
Sepia on paper, 66,5 x 47 cm