Max Wechsler, a work of art is a language
The challenge for Max Wechsler is undoubtedly that of hiding what is readable. And yet, each one of his works is a book, a story to decipher in the maelstrom of his memory.
Born in Berlin, Max Wechsler experienced the darkest hours of German history, his parents’ deportation, the unspeakable, what cannot be mentioned.
Max Wechsler was a graphic designer, a scribe, a copyist, he took possession of the written word, and by mixing the letters, smoothing the paper, Max Wechsler expresses in his work what cannot be spoken.
He copies typographic writings and it is through the act of tearing and gluing back the paper that he “divests the word of its function”*. It is a question of speaking the unspeakable, of formulating the unsaid.
Max Wechsler thus invents another form of semantics and another form of semiology. With Cyrillic, Hebraic and Arabic script, the artist rewrites his life. Under the letters appears what was perhaps the fabric of his existence, sometimes bumped or dented.
The other darker works of Max Wechsler provide a nuanced vision where light is diffused progressively. His blacks have a special color that can be distinguished at a certain time. Each work contains a powerful dramatic weight, an ever-changing momentum reflecting pictorial alterations.
Maurice Benhamou, art critic and great connoisseur of Max Wechsler’s works speaks of the artist:
“Each picture has a deeper, undefinable tonality that appears when looked at for a long time or immediately when compared to another picture. ( ) Thus there are two lights. One beyond the letter, one below. One, stemming from the air, materializes in the core of transparency, the other, rising from the substance and contained by a cover, becomes subtle by crossing through the obscure.”
- Max Wechsler
Max Wechsler was born in Berlin in 1925. He evolved from Surrealism to abstract painting to explore Marouflage, letters, the interplay of shadows and light.
From 1958 to 1972, he experienced a period inspired by Surrealism and he carried out his first works on plywood and canvas. For three years, from 1974 to 1977, he stopped painting voluntarily. In 1979, Max Weschler took up oil painting and turned to abstraction. Around 1983, he became interested in frameless canvas and created very large panels.
At the same period, he started his technique of covering over with paper and it was around 1985 that he worked with typographic characters. Since 2010, Max Weschler has created Fragments with large formats reduced in size.