Selected artworks from the exhibition 16 September — 11
Room 35, Sydney
An exhibition of 69 drawings.
Publication: Kurt Schranzer, Dichter-Zeichner, 1997,
Sydney. Catalogue essay, 69 b+w images, 62 pp. ISBN 0 646 32353 9.
[In] Room 35… is Dichter-Zeichner or Poet-Drawer, a
suite of expert contour drawings by Penrith-born Kurt Schranzer.
Steeped in the orotund cadences of European metaphysical art,
Schranzer’s work also has its own flattened Australian intonation.
Quoted from Bruce James, 'Galleries', Sydney Morning Herald,
Friday 19th September 1997
His exhibition, Dichter-Zeichner… is exceptional in
every sense. It consists of 69 drawings in black pen on white
paper. Depthless and toneless, they’re the perfect foil
to Anger’s barking colour, resembling a sort of charming
cross between technical drawing and telephone pad whimsy. …
His works are sharp, the visual equivalent of good epigrams. One
title speaks for the lot: ‘What shall I love if not the
Quoted from Sebastian Smee, 'Vanitas Fair', Sydney Morning
Herald, Friday 26th September 1997
The relationship between the titles of his drawings and the
images themselves is often amusing, with strange forms making
sense once titled, or ordinary-looking forms given a surreal twist
with a puzzling title. Schranzer’s inspiration comes from
many sources, including other ‘poet-drawers’ such
as Paul Klee, Jean Arp, and Jean Cocteau.
Quoted from 'Lines of Poetry', Capital Q Weekly, Friday
12th September 1997, Sydney
Dichter-Zeichner ('Poet-Drawer') quotes a Paul Klee drawing
from 1915. It is an apposite name for Schranzer. Like his luminary
Klee, Schranzer uses the title to lay open his intention. Within
a drawing, the visual form is clue to the title, and the title
is clue to the visual form, which is clue to the content. It is
a modus of operation based on a definition of language and visual
structure as counterpoint, not as exclusive and immutable entities.
It is two melodies making a harmonic, poetic whole. … Schranzer's
works are also posited within the poetic-graphic traditions of
artists such as Jean Cocteau, Jean Arp, Giorgio de Chirico, and
Federico Garciá Lorca. The output of these artists includes
both writing and visual art (not always known in the case of de
Chirico's writing or Lorca's drawing). For Schranzer, the appeal
of their poetry of language and visual forms is strong. …
The poetry of Schranzer's drawings is the poetry of dualities
and multiplicities: [they] are often puzzling or paradoxical,
beguiling, contradictory, and have many functions and interpretations.
… Sailors abound as homo-erotic archetypes of the masculine,
but their potency might be removed by castration, decapitation,
or dismemberment. Precociously sexual youths confront alter-images
of the malformed and sexually dysfunctional. Ships float calmly
out to sea, or are beached or sunk. Birds are caught, diced, poisoned;
one bird finds itself smashed against the lighthouse dome that
promised to give safety and clarity in a dark world. Carnivorous
flowers are both beautiful and deadly—so is the bombshell-youth.
… The pictorial language used by Schranzer—a reflection
of his affinity with Klee, the Bauhaus, and Surrealism—is
also centred in the vocabulary of technical drawing systems; French-curved
lines, projected forms, sectioned objects, and templated ellipses
abound. … Schranzer, however, toys with and transcends the
medium, and humours the traditional means in which his instruments
are used. In the hands of the utilitarian, the French curve would
be a means to describe some greater shape or form, and though
Schranzer will use the curve in this manner, he is also pleased
to allow the curve, or parts thereof, to describe and be scribed
in its own shape. This reflects the beauty of the curve's shape,
but further allows the curve to take on an inherent metaphysical
life: the head of a horse; the hull of a boat; a crashing wave.
Excerpts from the book Dichter-Zeichner, published to
coincide with the exhibition, 1997, Sydney
Three Horse Shadows
1995, ink on paper, 23 x 16.25 cm
Signed and inscribed front with title, date, catalogue no. MDX
Provenance: Private Collection
Exhibited: 1997 Dichter-Zeichner, Room 35, Sydney.
© Kurt Schranzer 2007
NOTE: Due to the low resolution
of computer screens, the lines of these drawings will present as pixelated.
A 'jagged' quality will be particularly evident on some diagonals and