Artwork of the Month

For many decades now, ifa has been sending art around the world in touring exhibitions. After their years on the road and the exhibitions are closed, the artworks are added to ifa’s own collection. Over the years this has grown to comprise some 23,000 works.

Our "Artwork of the Month“ series aims to offer greater access to our collection. Every month, one work is presented digitally on this page and also shown and introduced in analogue form at an event in the ifa Gallery in Stuttgart.

ifa depot; Photo: Maximilian Bauer
2022 November
Carlfriedrich Claus
Reflection of Unconscious TV Effects

Drypoint, etching
148 x 196 mm

Carlfriedrich Claus, Reflection of Unconscious TV Effects, 1979 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Static interference on an analogue TV screen is colloquially called an “ant race.”. It is like the “noise” before a clear image appears on the set. At some places in the drawing the grey line meshes condense into darker areas, and the first legible data seems to be recognizable.
Claus explored the relationship between language and writing and its connection to the body and to the unconscious influences of the author on the writing process.

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2022 October
Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt
Spheres of Interest

21.5 x 30 cm

© ifa, Courtesy the artist; Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

"Interest," "Interest, "Interest." The artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt typed this word with her Erika typewriter on the first line of a sheet of paper, repeating the word three times with wide spacing. Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt's graphic typewriter works can be seen in the tradition of concrete poetry.

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2022 September
Jürgen Böttcher / Strawalde
No. 19

acrylic paint, fabric on white cardboard
140 x 100 cm

Jürgen Böttcher, No. 19, 1992 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022; ifa

The collage is relatively large for a work on paper, measuring 140 x 100 cm. The work has a sweeping style, the brushstrokes are executed from the arm, using the whole body. Strawalde always works starting from the material, reflecting and respecting the respective medium. Works on paper and cardboard lead a life of their own in Strawalde’s artistic output, alongside painting and films. The drawing remains open to different interpretations. Strawalde does not pursue a specific concept with his work, he does not want to tell stories.

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2022 August
Rebecca Horn
Paradise Widow

Three colour photographs
each 28 x 35,5 cm

Rebecca Horn, Paradise Widow, 1977 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022
Rebecca Horn, Paradise Widow, 1977 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022
Rebecca Horn, Paradise Widow, 1977 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

A naked back is seen encased in a thick dark dress of cockerel feathers. On the second picture in this photo series by Rebecca Horn (b. 1944) the box-shaped feather covering is not any further opened, but it now reveals the front of the body of a naked woman. In the third picture the dress of feathers is closed. The uncovered back view becomes visible to the viewer via a mirror.

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2022 July
Karin Sander
untitled 1993, no. 64

Coloured pencil, staples, on paper
21 x 29.7 cm

Karin Sander, untitled 1993, no. 64, 1993 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

A red crayon line stapled over at regular intervals, as if the line needs to be fixed to the page. The artwork was the beginning of an exploration of everyday office materials that the artist has continued steadily since the 1990s. In the meantime, there are around 1500 of these works, which Karin Sander groups together under the collective term "office works."

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2022 June
Horst Bartnig
two hundred and fifty-six strokes, Sheet I from computer graphics series, sheets I - IV

line etching, hand print
34,9 cm x 34,9 cm

two hundred and fifty-six strokes, Sheet I from computer graphics series, sheets I - IV, 1982 © Horst Bartnig 2022

Horst Bartnig designs his works on the basis of simple geometric elements. In the artwork, it is a short stroke that is varied in a very simple way. Bartnig initially attracted the attention of natural scientists through his depiction of structures of mathematical principles. In the art scene of the former GDR, he stood alone with his position and was described as an "exceptional artist".

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2022 May
Hannah Höch

Collage from magazines and paper
23 x 18,4 cm

Hannah Höch, Escape, 1931 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Escape is the title of this collage of 1931 by Hannah Höch. The word sounds incendiary, and unfortunately it has become increasingly relevant in recent years. Perhaps the direction of  refugee movements has changed since the time this artwork was made. In her collage, Hannah Höch creates complicated and contradictory trains of thought that defy conventional terms.

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2022 April
Marcel Broodthaers
24 Images Seconde

35 mm b/w filmstrip and pencil on cardboard
50 x 65 cm

Marcel Broodthaers, 24 Images Seconde, 1970 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022; ifa

What seems to be a work from the picture editing desk, processed for production, is an allusion on several levels: the signature, a gesture by the artist to immortalise himself, is the centre of the creation of content. It was once individual and inimitable, but in the age of technical reproducibility in the context of film it suddenly stands as infinitely repeatable, generic, and mechanical.

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2022 March
Robert Rehfeldt

Mail Art poster, print
64 x 44 cm

Robert Rehfeldt, untitled, 1989 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022; ifa

"Those who live in the shadows" as a headline is literally lost among the many others in the cluttered typographic chaos of the poster. Watchful eyes, some of them looking at us through diving goggles, keep track. In his collage poster from 1989, Robert Rehfeldt explored the idea of Mail Art, i.e. art sent by post.

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2022 February
Gerhard Altenbourg
The Egg of the Formalist

Watercolour, tempera on cardboard
63.5 x 89.5 cm

Gerhard Altenbourg, The Egg of the Formalist, 1955 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022; ifa

Filigree line drawings stand next to painterly surfaces. Abstract and figurative representations merge. The richly coloured watercolour drawing is dominated by an earthy red tone. The “Egg of the Formalist” stands firmly installed in the centre between the two side wings of the winding building. It has no possibility of tilting to one side or the other.

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2022 January
Käthe Kollwitz

21 x 30 cm

Käthe Kollwitz, Self-portrait, 1924 © ifa

As an important representative of expressionism, Käthe Kollwitz put her art at the service of a concrete social responsibility. With her expressive works, she drew attention to the poverty and social problems. And even today, her drawings tell directly of the horror of those times.  

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2021 December
Maria Eichhorn

6 Tables, 36 seating cubes, paper, colored pencils, markers (Stabilo)
70 x 160 x 100 cm (tables); 38 x 38 x 38 cm (cubes)

Maria Eichhorn, Kinderwerkstatt, 1992 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021; ifa

For her 1992 work “Kinderwerkstatt” (children’s workshop), Maria Eichhorn installed a children’s workshop in the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. Six low tables were built according to the artist’s instructions along with six cubic stools each, the surfaces of which were painted in the primary colors yellow, red, and blue, and their complementary colors purple, green, and orange.

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