Norbert Schwontkowski, ‘Mrs. WET’, 2007, Mitchell-Innes & Nash

About Norbert Schwontkowski

The work of German artist Norbert Schwontkowski is deceivingly simple, at once playful and melancholy, naïve and sophisticated. His small, unassuming canvases can also be oddly humorous at times, as in a painting of a monk pondering a row of washing machines or a figure made seemingly of googly eyes. Falling somewhere between abstraction, representation, and cartoon, his spare canvases tell a story in just a few brush strokes. To create the pieces, he grinds his own pigment, mixing them directly on the canvas as though he were working with pastels. He adds metal oxides to the pigment, creating shimmering surfaces that continue to change over time.

German, 1949-2013, Bremen, Germany, based in Bremen, Germany