New York, Central Park, 6th Avenue, around 1981, fiber pen on paper, 12 x 16 cm
Outdoor studio - en plein air
Ruth Baumgarte occupies a special position among traveling artists in Europe. She has been traveling in Europe since the late 1950s and increasingly since the 1980s, including the countries of Scandinavia, Austria, Italy and northern Spain. She discovers the Middle East, the Caspian Sea, the USA and the African continent. In addition, there are numerous stays in major international cities. She is fascinated by the breathtaking atmosphere of the places, the foreign and captivating cultures, the very different people and their lifestyles.
“Not a day without a line!” - this artistic motto, which Paul Klee found for his extensive late drawing work, can also be used to describe Ruth Baumgarte's passion for the southern landscape, architecture and narrative culture. In particular, she explored northern Spain around 1980 with light luggage. The traveling artist goes on hikes through the beautiful landscape with a small folding chair, coffee mug, sketchpad, watercolor box and various drawing pencils and brushes. She encounters motifs everywhere outside and takes numerous snapshots. Nature becomes your open-air studio. She dates almost every sheet - executed in watercolor or ink - so that her dense creative periods become a travel diary.
African Storyteller, (In Front of the White Houses), 1988, charcoal and chalk on blue-gray paper, 68 x 86,7 cm
The highlight of her love of travel from 1984 was the African continent, which she got to know in the 1950s.
“Based on quick sketches that she made on site, she later created - back home in her studio in Germany - new colorful paintings, virtuoso watercolors, expressive gouaches and drawings." Klaus Albrecht Schröder, General Director of the Albertina Vienna.
In her old age, the artist traveled over forty times to African countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. With the so-called Africa cycle (1984-2004), which includes 100 works, as well as numerous other travel pictures, Ruth Baumgarte occupies a special position among the traveling artists in Europe in the 20th century, who received significant impulses for their work from the global south preserve art.