Georg Herold - Ohne Titel, 1991

1996 - Dauerleihgabe der Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst

After leaving the GDR under adverse conditions and beginning his studies for a short time in Munich, Georg Herold (*1947 in Jena) went on to participate in the class of Sigmar Polke at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (1977–83). Among his fellow students were Werner Büttner, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. Herold’s diverse oeuvre evades an interpretive definition, which is by all means intended by the artist. His artistic work, which includes sculpture, painting, installation and video, is characterised by an ostensibly improvised working process and the use of unpretentious materials, including roof battens, potholders, bricks, underwear and socks. ‘My choice of materials is not subject to any conscious criteria. The materials only need to be capable of taking up and transporting my ideas. By way of principle, I do not use materials that speak their own language. This is why I search for “crude, dumb” materials, that do not raise any questions,’ Herold stated in 1988.

Georg Herold, Ohne Titel, 1991 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016

Ohne Titel, 1991
For the monumental triptych Ohne Titel (6.3 × 3.6 m) from 1991, Herold used Beluga caviar, a material that he has repeatedly employed since 1988. He applied the expensive fish roe – this symbol of a luxurious lifestyle – onto the canvas in a vortex-like pattern, as though he had thrown the contents of the caviar container with momentum across the canvas. This ostensible energetic swing and the exclusive nature of the product are, however, undermined by the artist with humorous meticulousness. Each individual egg is systematically and consecutively numbered. It is as though two distinct personalities had created this work: a profligate spirit who draws on an abundance of resources and a fastidious personality who pays attention to the smallest detail.