Series "Vagrant", 1986

Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on paper, 57 x 43 cm

Fears for the future and an Africa utopia are themes that appear close together in the work of Ruth Baumgarte. The artist began to travel the African continent on a regular basis in the 1980s and to rediscover oil painting. At the same time, she was becoming sharply aware of societal and socio-political issues in Germany. Concerned by encounters with homeless people and a man who had only a small blanket to protect him in the icy cold, she started work on the series Nichtsesshaft (Vagrant), which depicts men in difficult situations in society.

A man with a deeply lined face looks straight into our eyes from the ochre page. His head appears almost to disappear into his large coat. He is holding a cup in his bony hands and an open paper bag of sandwiches lies in front of him. Baumgarte indicates the man's precarious situation with just a few artistic devices: his bent arms are squeezed into the frame and his body is at an angle. For this series, Baumgarte largely used handmade paper, which gives the entire background a pale mesh look – a subtle emphasis on the man's hopeless situation. Other works in the series.

Further Works of the Series

Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 56,5 x 39,4 cm
Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 64,3 x 59,5 cm
Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 63 x 48,4 cm
Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 57 x 42 cm
Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 57,3 x 39,8 cm
Series "Vagrant", 1986
Chalk on Paper, 54 x 41 cm