Welder, 1963, gouache, ink and graphite on blue Ingres paper, 24.1 x 32.8 cm, template for the March page of the Eisenwerk Baumgarte calendar of 1964.

Welder, 1963

In the calendar page series for 1963 Ruth Baumgarte used colored construction paper for the first time for her ink and gouache drawings, thus opening up new possibilities for her depiction.

In the previous calendar page series, the draftswoman still realistically sketched how the molten iron was transferred to the casting molds of the boilers in the ironworks. Now, with this sheet, she moves the manufacturing process itself into the center.

The huddled worker is shown as he is working on a steel boiler with his welder, setting off a veritable shower of sparks that envelops him like an aurora. In order to emphasize this particular moment, the artist not only designs a space that is rapidly aligned backwards in terms of perspective. She also concentrates solely on the colors black, dark red and white, which stand out clearly against the warm dark gray of the sheet. In this way, she skilfully brings the focal point of the scene, which is exactly in the center of the picture, into the light. At the right edge of the picture, she also introduces a back figure sketched in ink, who observes the important process from the outside, examining it. He stands at the edge of the scene, incidentally, like the draftswoman herself, whose precise powers of observation of people and spaces have shaped her artistic life's work.

The calendar page series is part of Ruth Baumgartes illustrative oeuvre, which includes over 2,200 watercolors and hand drawings.