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20Lichtspur (Trance of light)

Hermann Bachmann
1990, acrylic on nettle

Light trace by Hermann Bachmann, 1990, acrylic on nettle

The painting "Lichtspur" (Trance of light) by Hermann Bachmann is located in the Otto Warburg Hall of the campus mensa. Viewed from the terrace, the painting is located on the left rear end wall of the hall.

Hermann Bachmann was born in Halle an der Saale in 1922. During his training as a typesetter and commercial artist at the Kunstgewerbeschule Offenbach am Main, he took lessons in nude drawing and painting from Otto Fischer-Lamberg. During World War II, he served as a soldier on the Eastern Front. Meanwhile, several times he had to hide with his comrades in poppy fields. After the war he continued his studies autodidactically. In order to come to terms with his war experiences, he painted pictures with the motif of the poppy field over a period of several years.

Soon his work attracted attention. In 1946, he participated in the first free exhibitions, the „Allgemeine Deutsche Kunstausstellung“ (General German Art Exhibition) in Dresden. In 1948 and 1959 followed his first solo exhibitions in Halle. Bachmann is considered a representative of the Halle School, a movement of modern artists in the 1940s and 1950s, whose pictorial language was still figurative despite the simplified signs. Typical of the movement is the "Halle gray" predominant in the painting, which gives the colors a luminous quality.

In 1952, Bachmann presented his painting "Mohn vor der Reife" (Poppies Before Ripening) at the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle. The work earned him fierce accusations of formalism. The time was heated in terms of cultural politics, and the "Stasi" (state security) was called in to investigate Bachmann. 1952 also saw his first exhibition in West Berlin, and he moved here with his family in 1953.

In the 1950s Bachmann turned away from the figural early work and began non-objective color games. Varying tones of "Halle gray," "laid over the picture surface like a subdued light of a dim vision" (1) became the hallmark of Bachmann's painting of this period.

From 1957 he was a lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin, which appointed him professor in 1961. After his retirement in 1987, Bachmann moved to Karlsruhe-Durlach, birthplace of his wife Gisela. He died there in 1995.

The painting Lichtspur dates from 1990 and is painted with acrylic on nettle. Here, too, vary shades of gray, in front of which a vertical flame-like yellow-red trace in the center of the picture stands out in high contrast.

The painting was obtained for the sculpture park in 2000, with funds from the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.

Here you will find Bachmann's "Dream before sunrise in February 1992".

The painting can be viewed exclusively during the opening hours of the refectory.

With materials from:

Herrmann Bachmann (Maler) auf Wikipedia

Art at the Max Delbrück Center

Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle/Saale

Zerrissen: Werke des sächsischen Malers Hermann Bachmann in Berlin (aus FAZ)


(1) Kunst in der DDR