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ca 1971
Painting, oil and tinfoil on cardboard, 150 x 100 cm


The last work of the collection, ”Schaubude” (Show booth) is another piece in Mammen‘s series of collages; it can also be considered one of her cipher images. The background of the painting consists of red, blue and green areas that overlap with each other. Black lines and white fill are superimposed on this and create cipher symbols that are partly covered with glossy candy wrappers. At the top right can be seen a human figure with its mouth opened in an ”O” and a hat. Left of the center is a bird‘s head whose beak is open and pointed to the right; between them is a death‘s head. The rest of the painting is covered with other ciphers that lend the whole an impression of order.

Why Mammen started making collages:

”I had fallen in love with glass windows and colors from the tube seemed dirty somehow. At that point I discovered shiny candy wrappers and started gluing a few on, hesitantly at first. It‘s really messy work! I had everyone collecting candy wrappers for me. I have whole drawers full of them, which I‘ll never use because I‘m not gluing any more. I never had the idea of combining tinfoil to a sense of the world: for a while, it was just enormous fun. But at the same time it was a huge amount of work, and a test of patience – patience is what you need the most of.”

Quote from Jeanne Mammen 1890 – 1976, published by the Jeanne-Mammen-Gesellschaft in conjunction with the Berlinischen Galerie 1978, Edition Cantz Stuttgart – Bad Cannstatt, p.100