No Connection under This Number, 1986

No Connection under This Number, 1986
Watercolor on paper, 75 x 56 cm

A rich palette of tones from deep purples to deep yellows gives this image a certain darkness despite the many patches of reflected light. The figure of a woman wrapped in a large coat sits on a step. Pensive and withdrawn, she appears almost oblivious to the large black cat beside her. A group of stray cats lurks on the edge of the nearby wall. In the background, more stairs lead into a deserted urban landscape with Moorish elements that appears confining and cold. A yellow telephone box in the right of the picture stands out like an anchor in a sea of loneliness. Even the mysterious but gentle cat, revered in Egypt as a protective goddess, appears to be offering succour.

In Kein Anschluss unter dieser Nummer (No Connection under This Number), Ruth Baumgarte addresses the problems of the lonely and the implications for modern society of increasingly empty inner cities. The watercolour explores an issue that is in many ways highly relevant today.

The Baumgarte Art Foundation acquired this important watercolour from a private collection for the estate of Ruth Baumgarte, and it now forms part of a group of works from the 1980s that address socio-political questions.