Karl Gerstner
Progressive Penetration, schwarz-weiß, 1960

  • Nitro-color on aluminum
  • 7 parts, each 63 x 63 cm
  • Acquired in 1986

Karl Gerstner has made a conscious choice to work in several disciplines – as a graphic artist, painter and author. Theory is the basis for his artistic work, methodology is the instrument and innovation is the aim. As a graphic artist and co-founder of the international advertising agency ‘Gerstner + Kutter’ and later of ‘GKK’, he was one of the leading figures of the successful Schweizer Grafik movement. As an author, Gerstner has written several articles and books about art, including ‘Kompendium für Alphabete. Systematik der Schrift’, 1994, a classic of design theory. As a theoretician, he is best known for his text ‘Kalte Kunst? Zum Standort der heutigen Malerei’, 1957. Gerstner first began to systematically divide his artwork into chapters in the 1950s, when he created the Aperspektiven (a system of pictures in grey tones created from constant shapes with variable coordinates) and the Reihenbilder, which included Progressive Penetration, schwarz-weiss, 1960. Gerstner wanted to create constructive pictures where the shapes and colors would form a unity. The forms were based on numerical intervals, and the colors were based on sensory intervals.

Karl Gerstner

* 1930 Basel, CH
† 2017 Basel, CH

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