Rolf Escher, ‘Wardrobe trunk’, 1991, H. W. Fichter Kunsthandel e.K
Rolf Escher, ‘Wardrobe trunk’, 1991, H. W. Fichter Kunsthandel e.K
Rolf Escher, ‘Wardrobe trunk’, 1991, H. W. Fichter Kunsthandel e.K

Can a draughtsman approach a German metropolis like Frankfurt am Main towards the end of our century with the same impartiality as an old Italian city - take Bologna as an example? Years ago I was fascinated by the memories of the cities of Northern Italy. I tried to convey something of this fascination in the medium of drawing and called this series of works locations" in order to allude to the reality theatre that still fascinates us in the old Italian city centres, but the big city on the Main with its damages, its contrasts and a never-ending boom, which can be seen in the huge building cranes visible from afar? If, as a draughtsman, I can discover motifs here that challenge my imagination, I can find the peace to concentrate here at all, in order to make things speak in the medium of drawing without evading the illustration of sufficiently well-known sights... I must confess: sometimes, sitting on a stool on the edge of a busy street, surrounded by traffic, I was aware of the absurdity of my undertaking. And yet: The more I got involved with this city in ever new approaches over the course of these almost two years, the more complex and mysterious it became for me. I became more and more aware of how much of its history modern Frankfurt has preserved, but in contrast to the Italian cities quoted above, history in this city is only tangible in fragments, which can sometimes only be found after some research. But for me it is a great attraction to quote the past in detail, to challenge the imagination and to make the trace of the human being visible in the individual. I also think that the linguistic means of drawing are still particularly suitable for this: I call my Frankfurt series "Finds" to emphasize the fragmentary, the subjectively broken aspects of this collection. I am aware that the connoisseur of the city will miss many things that would be important to him in this context. But maybe he will feel something of the curiosity with which I wandered through the city and its collections. Perhaps the joy will be shared, e.g. about the discovery of an old purse, which I saw in April'91 in an exhibition about the Frankfurt fair, or about the little clock tower, which I discovered as a little surprise on a walk to the zoo on 22. 5. 1990. I also hope that the staged Schopenhauer sofa, observed in the Schopenhauer Archive, will be able to recall this philosopher, who in my imagination is so closely associated with Frankfurt in the 19th century, also in contrast to the vitality of the trading city. As I have noticed at all, Frankfurt of the 19th century is still present in many places and characterizes the face of the city - between its administrative skyscrapers - Finally a note about the old suitcase with the sticker "Frankfurter Hof" from the 1930s: I made this find in my own cellar in Essen, and I have drawn it into the sketchbook, also as an invitation to the viewer to start the journey into memory spaces with his own imagination". (Rolf Escher, from: Frankfurt finds. Sketchbook 1990-1991, Frankfurt am Main 1991, cover).

Signature: signed and dated: "Rolf Escher 6.5.91" (upper right)

Image rights: H. W. Fichter Kunsthandel e.K.

About Rolf Escher

German, b. 1936

Solo Shows

Kultur Bahnhof Eller, 
Düsseldorf, Germany,
Die Sprache der Dinge - Zeichnerische Entdeckungen
H.W. Fichter Kunsthandel e.K., 
Frankfurt am Main, Germany,
Über das Vermessen der Erinnerung
Historisches Archiv, 
Cologne, Germany,
Kölner Fundstücke
DichterOrte - Zeichnungen von Rolf Escher
Preußen-Museum Wesel, 
Wesel, Germany,
Lebensräume des Königs, Friedrich der Große zwischen Brandenburg und Niederrhein