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High lights

Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Charcoal Drawing

The charcoal drawing is made with a thick piece of charcoal. The inner drawing with a thin branch. Each line is powerfully drawn only once and without any preliminary drawing.
The model’s features have been transformed in the imagination into an abstract image. The lines are drawn according to this image.

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Gunter Langer, Woman, Reclining, Acrylic Painting

The picture is painted from a model. The model is perfect, it has the ability to invent expressive postures itself. Any intervention by the artist in this process would immediately destroy the emotional effect.
Several years of experience are necessary to acquire the ability to invent such compositions.
Particular difficulty: the emotional effect of the face must match the charisma of the body.

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Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

The drawing was made on Nostalgie paper, A2, 190 gsm from Hahnemüle with a black wax pastel pencil from CARAN D’ ACHE.
Each line is only drawn once with a firm, powerful hand. This requires a high level of concentration.
I started with the eye on the right of the picture. This can be seen in the thinner lines that appear at the beginning.
There are abstract line structures (Olaf Stoy calls them arabesques) such as the collarbone line. The hairstyle also follows this principle.
The red-violet structures created on the skin with a dry brush are also arabesques.


Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Painting

The aim of the work was to create emotional expressiveness in the body and face. Face and body form an emotional connection. The colors are applied in soft, complementary tones without a significant amount of grey, but with a coarse application of paint using large brushes. In the center with a lively red signal as a counterpoint to the face.

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Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

Kneeling harmonious figure. Emotional body and facial expression. Face and body form an emotional formation. Cadmium red and Prussian blue form a complementary unit. The soft tones are painted transparently with coarse brushstrokes and do not blend into gray,


Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

The kneeling figure pursues a similar strategy to the figure above. In contrast, it is characterized by gentle restraint.
As usual, the drawing underneath is powerfully drawn with only one line. This is a prerequisite for a lively-looking picture.


Gunter Langer, Woman, Reclining, Pencil Drawing

The drawing is drawn with pencil on China paper. Pencil creates incredibly soft lines on Chinese paper. Here, each line is only drawn once with force. I start the puzzle somewhere. At the mouth or an eye. Everything has to fit right from the start!!!
The fabric structure of the dress is a challenge.

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Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Gouache Watercolour Pencil

Acrylic painting on Hahnemühle watercolor laid paper 600g/sqm in green and red.
The paper is soft and absorbent, it is possible to create openwork layers of color with acrylic paint in which the paper emerges speckled.
The lines are powerfully and expressively drawn with a black pen. They also emerge from under the transparent layers of paint. The paint is applied expressively with a large brush. Discipline is required to keep the transparent complementary colors separate on the paper. Prior planning is crucial. Where there is darkness, the complementary transparent colors are painted on top of each other.

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Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Drawing

This drawing is made with a short pencil and a firm, powerful grip. Each line is only drawn once. The larger the format, the more difficult it is to draw good lines. The usual limit is a sheet size of < 40 cm. However, the sheet used is 60 cm, so it is almost impossible to make such a drawing with a single line. On the sheet you can see two misdirected and then erased lines:

  1. left shoulder and upper arm
  2. left breast

Conditions of a picture - movement, expression and model in the work of Gunter Langer

Ivo Krys

Finished works of art are often viewed without the effort behind their creation. The results hardly ever tell of the procurement of the material, the conditions or the time invested in the work. The finished work stands on its own and tells completely new stories rather than reporting on its own creation, which in the case of most works of art is rather secondary anyway. After all, it’s usually about the work, which is much easier to sell than the creation, which is merely a process. And because the work is silent about its own creation, the artist is questioned about how it was created, whereby the focus tends to be on material issues. But who today still asks how long a model had to endure so that the artist could depict it in this way? Was there a model at all? What preparations are needed to create convincing images, especially when depicting poses and movements?
The German artist Gunter Langer, who lives near Dresden, explores these questions in his work. He self-critically compares his own works with works that treat the body as an apparatus of movement, even if the focus is not always on movement per se. The momentary is of particular interest to Langer. For him, snapshots with the camera have nothing quick, short-lived about them, but rather something permanent. He treats his photographs, which are taken in advance, like sketches that are carefully preserved and archived. Langer gives a movement, or the expression of a face, a duration that convinces with credibility. The expression conveys the emotion that should affect the viewer. Eye-catching through the moment. In order to achieve a credible expression, Langer works with his models for years, if possible. Using numerous examples from art history, he analyzes postures and compositions with his models. Thus movement training - similar to dance - is a necessary prerequisite for Langer when creating a picture. Although a final posture should emerge, it should not give the impression that the movement has come to a standstill. Rather, the moment of posture should convey a certain impression of randomness, which in its semi-availability is no longer a coincidence, but now a work of art. This is why Gunter Langer finds completely fabricated postures a horror, as there is nothing alive in them. Langer pays a lot of attention to a natural, lively-looking posture that creates the impression that the movement is continuing. Always staying with the living model is elementary for him. Movements are played through again and again, repeated and captured with the camera. Langer does not intervene, allows the model to move freely and only discusses with the model afterwards what should be improved so that the emotional expression of the pose is fully realized. This cooperation is the prerequisite for Langer’s pictorial testimonies and their expressive content, whereby real chance and knowledge of posture form the framework.
The model is always the other who appears and who confronts the artist. In his preoccupation with the Other, Gunter Langer generates his reference to the world, which always resonates in his works. The Other is always the main protagonist. He or she is lingered over and listened to. Langer’s gaze confronts different conditions and circumstances: be it fashion trends, physical characteristics or character traits that help shape the outer appearance. The direct preliminary work with the model places the examination of the motif in an ambiguous relationship of openness and closeness. What the artist sees, what the model reveals, signifies this ambiguous relationship. The moving postures therefore become Langer’s own pictorial language. However, it is important to know and understand the possibilities of the movements precisely. This is the only way to keep inventing new compositions. Because: “Art is invention”, as Langer writes on his homepage.


Gunter Langer, Woman, Crouching, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Painting

Fig. 1: “Close to you”, acrylic on handmade paper, 66 x 102 cm, 2022
Fig. 2: “Silent gaze”, acrylic on handmade paper, 66 x 102 cm, 2022

The example of “Nah bei dir” (Fig. 1), which is juxtaposed with the work “Stummer Blick” (Fig. 2), makes it clear that not every movement has the same expressive effect. Both examples show the dynamics that openness and closure, stillness and movement can take on in such compositions. In “Nah bei dir”, the figure turns its gaze away and looks down to the ground, completely ignoring the viewer and yet addressing them, because it is impossible to escape the bright orange of the clothes and hair. The color is an active color, an attention that does not allow the viewer’s gaze to leave easily. Although turned away and thinking for herself, she does not hide her emotional state. However, the figure’s closed, fragile posture is not rigid or introverted. Rather, her posture suggests that she will not be able to remain in this position for much longer and will have to get up immediately to avoid losing her balance. Either way, whether she falls or rises, her posture will open up in the next moment and redefine her emotional state. The sitter in “Stummer Blick” is not affected by this unstable posture. She has all the time in the world. She is not fragile, her posture is not in danger of collapsing. Her condition is stable. Her gaze holds on to the viewer, withstanding whatever may come. The movement is frozen in favor of her gaze, because she does not necessarily need to move. You might even think she is waiting to see what her counterpart will do next. But for the time being, she steadfastly withstands the exchange of glances, as she can endure them for all time. In its duration, it is superior to the viewer, as it always wins the game: whoever blinks first loses. It silences the viewer’s imagination in an endless interplay of gazes without the prospect of movement. The stillness of the gaze is important here. Waiting becomes an aesthetic experience.
The examples illustrate the importance Langer attaches to the expression of a certain posture. In countless drawings (Fig. 3), his efforts to depict the moment of expression come to the fore, whereby the line plays an important role as it is only drawn once. It, too, is caught up in the moment. Thus Langer always brings out the lines again when he has painted over them too much. For him, the line is a medium of expression. Especially in abstract works, line and posture are dependent on each other. The lightness of the posture is combined with the lightness of the line. This creates a further interplay between open and closed expression, which is heightened by the use of color.


The example of “Nah bei dir” (Fig. 1), which is juxtaposed with the work “Stummer Blick” (Fig. 2), shows that not every movement has the same expressive effect. Both examples show the dynamics that openness and closure, stillness and movement can take on in such compositions. In “Nah bei dir”, the figure turns its gaze away and looks down to the ground, completely ignoring the viewer and yet addressing them, because it is impossible to escape the bright orange of the clothes and hair. The color is an active color, an attention that does not allow the viewer’s gaze to leave easily. Although turned away and thinking for herself, she does not hide her emotional state. However, the figure’s closed, fragile posture is not rigid or introverted. Rather, her posture suggests that she will not be able to remain in this position for much longer and will have to get up immediately to avoid losing her balance. Either way, whether she falls or rises, her posture will open up in the next moment and redefine her emotional state. The sitter in “Stummer Blick” is not affected by this unstable posture. She has all the time in the world. She is not fragile, her posture is not in danger of collapsing. Her condition is stable. Her gaze holds on to the viewer, withstanding whatever may come. The movement is frozen in favor of her gaze, because she does not necessarily need to move. You might even think she is waiting to see what her counterpart will do next. But for the time being, she steadfastly withstands the exchange of glances, as she can endure them for all time. In its duration, it is superior to the viewer, as it always wins the game: whoever blinks first loses. It silences the viewer’s imagination in an endless interplay of gazes without the prospect of movement. The stillness of the gaze is important here. Waiting becomes an aesthetic experience.
The examples illustrate the importance Langer attaches to the expression of a certain posture. In countless drawings (Fig. 3), his efforts to depict the moment of expression come to the fore, whereby the line plays an important role as it is only drawn once. It, too, is caught up in the moment. Thus Langer always brings out the lines again when he has painted over them too much. For him, the line is a medium of expression. Especially in abstract works, line and posture are dependent on each other. The lightness of the posture is combined with the lightness of the line. This creates a further interplay between open and closed expression, which is heightened by the use of color.


Gunter Langer,
Gunter Langer,
Gunter Langer,

Fig. 3: Various drawings, ca, 50 x 70 cm, 2022

With her eyes closed and her head slightly tilted back, her legs spread wide, the figure floats in a bright orange space with some soap bubble-like objects (fig. 4). The figure’s body is supported by the objects around it in the color effect. The bluish shimmer of the objects and the figure contrasts with the bright orange and reinforces the impression of a resting posture. The composition of figure and objects creates depth; together they form the space. The figure is ambiguous because it is irritating. It conveys outward openness and yet turns its gaze inwards. Her shimmering white-blue body becomes a projection surface for the viewer. What is she imagining? Why does she seem so introverted when she is sitting so openly? Her spread legs are embarrassing. Her closed eyes make it impossible to look at her. She doesn’t even see how she is being looked at. We, the viewers, can let our gaze wander, scan the lines. And yet there remains a residue that does not want to reveal itself. The closed eyes, the calm and open posture, the body that presents itself so freely, the bright, loud orange and the cool, calm blue, everything irritates and attracts the gaze at the same time. None of this seems to interest the seated woman. The merely implied pubic region reinforces the impression that not everything is obvious after all. The role relationships cannot be conclusively determined. Have we even become a floating soap bubble? Can she close her eyes because she doesn’t feel threatened by us? Because certain relationships have been reversed? The dialog between openness and closure, subject and object makes “The Other World” appear like a picture puzzle. It plays with the possibility of repeatedly adopting a different contrast, which then brings with it a further meaning.


Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Painting

Fig. 4: “The other world”, acrylic on cardboard, 56 x 76.5 cm, 2021

Langer and his model translate opposites into different postures with unbridled zeal. Attitudes that mostly flaunt the open and counteract it with a certain closedness. Langer himself speaks here of the “intuition of extravagance”, which moves the model, on one occasion or another, to adopt such a stance and creates an intense expression. The expression is characterized by harmony and dissonance, the very unavailability that deepens attention. Langer compares this intuition with expressive dance, which also produces dynamic and unplanned - i.e. intuitive - movements and thereby creates intensity. Langer is spurred on by the intuition of his model. Here he recognizes the potential of ambiguous contrasts to create interesting compositions. It is precisely this tension of ambiguity that evokes for him a “disinterested pleasure”, as the philosopher Emanuel Kant called it.
However determined the intention may be, however numerous the deliberate attempts and intense the confrontation, the expression cannot be completely controlled. But it is precisely the ambiguous, the unclear that makes expression interesting. Langer’s works are dedicated to the sensuality of the moment, to which a special expression is inherent. The works do not aim to instruct, they aim to seduce, to arouse interest in the Other.


The expression of liveliness - Gunter Langer between moments, movements and line flow

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Standing, Gouache Watercolour Pencil

Ivo Krys

Writing about living artists is always a rewarding experience. As an author, you don’t have to speculate a lot about whether he or she knew this or that to find inspiration, but learn a lot about their way of working and thinking in personal interviews. Artist and author work together on a text.

The following presents the artistic exploration of body and movement by the artist Gunter Langer, who was born in 1950 and has amassed a huge oeuvre in this respect.
Gunter Langer

Image 1:Gunter Langer, “Im Rad”, gouache, watercolor and pencil on laid paper, 56 x 76 cm, 2018.


Gunter Langer,

Image: 2 Gunter Langer, “Roman Woman”, acrylic, gouache and pencil on paper, 77 x 55.5 cm, 2019.

Whether Gunter Langer’s paintings hang motionless on the wall or his sculptures remain on pedestals, the motifs still contain the moment of movement. The movement is - due to the medium - frozen in the picture, but the figure itself does not seem rigid at all, as it invites us to think its movement through to the end, or possibly to imagine the beginning of its movement.

In this way, the figure sets something in motion in us - activates us. This movement is unmistakable in the approach of the artist, who is not interested - in the worst case - in depicting lovelessly practiced and motionless poses, which in their motionlessness are hopefully waiting to be artfully staged.


Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

Action is translation and translation is action

Based on the photo sketch - which merely serves as a model - the translation into another medium is created in the studio, which provides Langer with new possibilities. In general, translation - from one medium to another - stands for the actual artistic act: observation is translated into internalization, this internalization into an expression.

The visible and the invisible, the active and the passive; an interplay of opposites that, through constant transformation in the other, repeatedly arise in the counterpart. This interplay between visible and invisible, passive and active action manifests itself in Langer’s line. It is the final artistic expression that enables further artistic expression in other media.


Gunter Langer, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Drawing

Image 4: Gunter Langer, “Venus on the clouds”, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 143.5 cm, 2022.
In the flow of experience

Image 5: Gunter Langer, “Untitled (Portrait of a woman)”, ink on cardboard, 30 x 40 cm, 2018.

The creative exploration of different tasks is appealing precisely because experiences of being can be made on different levels. For Langer, the experience that arises - under ideal conditions - in the flow of lines is nevertheless a flow experience.

In the process of tackling a creative task, a balance arises between the creator, their concentration and their awareness of the task. This balance ensures increasing complexity and understanding during the execution of an activity and creates its own - in this case artistic - system.

As the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi makes clear, this balance enables a flow experience by finding an optimal middle ground between over- and underchallenging the task. Langer’s self-confidence in being able to draw his line so consistently stems from numerous flow experiences that have had a lasting impact on his existence as an artist.

As a daily practice, the processes of observation, internalization and creation are indispensable for Langer. These processes allow Langer to feel the vitality of his existence as an artist, which is reflected in the tasks, and by practicing daily, he connects with the world and vice versa.

The drive to find solutions for his tasks is therefore enormous. These experiences of being, which are made in dealing with the material, are Langer’s artistic confrontations with his environment and thus help to shape it.
The collapse of processes as an image

In these confrontations, the outside world merges with Langer’s internalization, which, through being emotionally moved, finds its expression in the artistic work, which enters the world as an image in order to communicate with it in its vitality. The image as a work of art visualizes the ephemeral-visible and invisible - physical and mental - movements of the artist’s action.

The artist’s action, visible but coded, is preserved in the image and embodies all the translation processes as well as the emotional movement of the artist.

The line, in Langer’s works, provides a path or flow. It captures the gaze, which, now following the line, no longer acts freely on the page, as the line, in its creation, claimed all freedom for itself. We are obliged to follow its direction in order to try to understand the movement - not only that of the sitter, but also that of the artist - as a whole.

The line penetrates our imagination as an image of all these movements and symbolizes thoughts about limitations and freedom. Thus, in the interplay of opposites, the work of art is not only an experience of being for the artist, but also for us, who bear witness to the images.
Gunter Langer


The distracted gaze

Gunter Langer, Acrylic Painting

Ivo Krys

Venus, goddess of beauty and at the same time of all temptations, which often lead to evil. However, the sense of beauty is something other than desire. After all, what is not seductive if it is not also beautiful for you? And yet we don’t have to desire it. Venus is therefore also the goddess of what is generally referred to as the power of attraction. She challenges our senses - especially our sight. Together with her little offspring, the boy Cupid, we humans are supposed to feel as if we are floating on clouds and dancing on them.
Until we finally stumble and fall, lost in thought. So is Venus a stumbling block? Yes! And a particularly beautiful one at that! In his work, Venus on
the clouds of 2022, Gunter Langer hints at precisely this ambivalence of beauty and at the same time directs our attention to the beautiful flaw that stands in contrast to the flaw in beauty. In his work, it seems as if Venus, lost in thought because she is deeply distracted, stumbles over her own feet as she takes her next step, walking right towards us, the viewers.
Although Venus is walking towards us, her gaze is directed downwards,
out of the picture. She does not pay attention to where she is going, she just walks. Her liveliness appears in her movement. Her smile confirms her pleasantness in what she looks at but remains hidden from us.


Is she perhaps looking down at the Cupid boy walking beside her? Is he playing an amusing game to distract her? Around her head, in colorful competition with the blue sky, red-orange splashes of color fly, reminiscent of small flames. Red is the color of desire and temptation. The fact that the splashes of color circle around the center of thought, the head, suggests that Venus is dazed by desire and temptation. Is Venus, who walks so light-footedly on the clouds, addicted to a love that she can no longer get out of her head? Is she even walking on cloud nine? What Venus sees (possibly also in her mind’s eye) and thus constantly has in her thoughts seems to distract her so much that she is no longer willing to pay attention to her next step, which could probably cause an embarrassing moment. But everything in the picture is in limbo. The moment is frozen: that very moment between careless bliss and the embarrassing realization of carelessness.

It’s good that we too are spared this embarrassing moment! The beautiful faux pas can be imagined, but only being frozen prevents Venus, who has already crossed the threshold of the picture space, from falling on us in the end. Should she really stumble, she would draw us into her embarrassment. And is that what we want, in view of looking at the picture? Or isn’t it generally the case that the carelessness of beauty plays out on us humans all the time and we constantly have to go through and clean up its beautiful mistakes? Let us simply allow the careless, thoughtless Venus to pass through us to see what it does to us. ¬


Painting in red and blue

Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer,

Buy pictures from Gunter Langer at Meisterdrucke.de

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Pencil Drawing
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Woman, Reclining, Drawing
Gunter Langer,  Nude Pair, Standing, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Sitting, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Pencil Drawing
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Pencil Drawing
Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Woman, Reclining, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Reclining, Gouache Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Crouching, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Standing, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

https://www.meisterdrucke.de/künstler/Gunter-Langer.html

Even as a child and throughout his life, Gunter Langer was fascinated by the depiction of people. Translating emotions into lines fascinated him. He began with portraits and later discovered that the human body can also develop emotions and expressiveness. Gunter Langer works intensively with people to find pictorial compositions.

His aim is to build up the portrait from a few lines that are drawn only once and to give the lines expressiveness in the unique process of drawing. This is the complex process of abstracting reality and then transforming it into a single line.

Color was added in 2007. He identified his goals in the color compositions of his role models, such as Van Gogh, Klimt or Beckmann, and in color theory.

In drawing, the aim is to create more expressiveness than a photograph can with individual free-standing lines that correspond to each other and possess a harmony. The application of paint is intended to enhance this. For Gunter Langer, this is not the simple imitation of nature, nor the mere expressive transformation of nature into rough shapes and colors, but the creation of an additional abstraction of emotions with whose implementation the expressiveness is profoundly increased. Tiny bends in contours, lines and brushstrokes create this emotional effect.


Drawing on a large format - a challenge

Gunter Langer, Pair, Kneeling, Charcoal Drawing
Gunter Langer, Woman, Kneeling, Charcoal Drawing
Gunter Langer, Sitting, Charcoal Drawing
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Kneeling, Gouache, Watercolour, Charcoal
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Charcoal Drawing
Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Charcoal Drawing

The drawing board on which the paper was placed was 110 cm high. Gunter Langer could not hold it freely in a seated position as usual, but had to place it on a small footrest and hold it with his left hand. He drew every line without setting it down, and only made omissions where lines overlapped.


Color contrast: "Complementary entropy of color"

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Sitting, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer,  Nude Pair, Standing, Acrylic Painting
Gunter Langer,  Nude Pair, Standing, Acrylic Painting

Gunter Langer developed a new color contrast, taken from our everyday life: in the supermarket, a saleswoman in a blue-grey smock stands in front of a screamingly colorful shelf of goods. A beautiful face on the cover of a magazine can have a similar effect if it is embedded in colorful advertising.
The background consists of color areas with high color saturation. In the foreground there are complementary colors that are mixed as much as possible, resulting in colored gray.
The contrast is enormous with this “complementary color entropy”.


Enigmatic Realism

Gunter Langer, Woman, Sitting, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Acrylic Watercolour Pencil

Gunther Langer feels himself philosophically connected to the so called “Enigmatic Realism”.
The paintings are full of life and tangible, that means “realistic” (therefore it is called realism). On the other hand the paintings must not be sensualized only but subjectually experienced- otherwise they are not an art-experience at all, no enigmatic realism.
The second aspect of each art experience is the expected exception, the aesthetic perception extraordinaire, something desirable. The ideal is associated with the perception of individual aesthetics, with sensual pleasure. But it leaves space for ideas and something mysterious- something no words can describe. There is no complete interpretation- something always remains “enigmatically”.

Christine Kunkler, LDX Artodrome Galerie

https://artodrome.de/
Philosophy of the Art Gallery


Gunter Langer – Painter and Graphic Artist

He is one of the few people who still can draw. The way he uses the pencil is unique. Artists usually start drawing with short, careful lines, trying to find the ideal one. This cautious approach is taught.
Gunter Langer draws differently.His lines are drawn through without lifting the pencil. They are shaped with an exeptional sense for the character and for the expression of his motif. Of cause lines drawn this way can also fail. At first Gunter Langer threw them uncompromisingly away. Corrections were out of question. A consequence of this firm attitude was, that a number of promising beginnings were lost. Therefore Gunter Langer has started to save certain pieces of work. If he can realize his intented composition with only small corrections, he will give it a second try. Gunter is totally aware that creativity is a gift, that has to be handled with care. There are some days when absolutely nothing works out. Hardly a single line succeeds. Even in this case, he doesn’t throw anything away immediately. If something can’t be corrected, he puts it aside as a warning and Gunter tries it all over again. But there are creative days as well. Art works with great expressive power emerge from a few lines only. What looks like effortlessness is the result of years of practice and an exceptional talent.

Jürgen Magister


The Hegenbarth Gen

Gunter Langer, Caricature, Gouache Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Caricature, Standing, Gouache Watercolour Pencil

“You got your skill from the Hegenbarths.” A sentence from Langer’s childhood. His grandmother told him that his grandfather was a distant relative of the famous Josef Hegenbarth, praising him when she watched him draw. At that time, Gunter Langer didn’t know what she meant. It only dawned on him later on, because relatives used to say that Joseph Hegenbarth was always messing around with a pencil or crayon outside the studio too. He had a habit of conjuring up vivid animal figures on the edges of any available newspaper with a just few quick lines. This was the way of drawing that Gunter Langer intuitively discovered for himself too. The artist believes that without his “Hegenbarth gene” he would never have made it so far.
The rest is work; finding the right line in one go calls for constant training, otherwise the gift will be lost. Langer compares himself to musicians who have to practice every single day if they want to retain their virtuosity. And he quotes the world-famous violinist Igor Oistrach, the son and pupil of the legendary David Oistrach: “If I don’t practice for one day, my father notices it. If I don’t practice for two days, I notice it myself. And if I don’t practice for a whole week, the public notices it too.” Gunter Langer scribbles on a lot of paper, even the edges of newspapers if needs be, so that he can face the public, and above all himself …

Jürgen Magister


Paints – A New Dimension

Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Gouache Watercolour Pencil
Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Standing, Gouache Watercolour Pencil

Gunter Langer shunned the use of paints for many years. When he first began using them in 2007 he was already a seasoned graphic artist. He was quickly fascinated by the secrets of this new medium, its endless possibilities. Since then he has been exploring the interaction of different colours with an ardent curiosity. He gets his inspiration from all eras of painting. He has a particular interest in Goya, for example. “The way the old master painted skin tones, for example, remains fascinating and exceptionally instructive to this day.” He brings the long-forgotten colour composition teachings of the Dresden School back to life, experimenting with different techniques and materials. Langer is permanently searching for new ways to express himself, always wanting to surprise people. “My goal is not to develop a personal style. I believe that this means standstill,” he admits. This means that he is constantly adding new dimensions to his drawing talent

Jürgen Magister


Sophie

Gunter Langer, Female Portrait, Acrylic Painting

“Sophie” – one of Gunter Langer’s first works in colour, in acryl. This portrait from 2010 is particularly close to the artist’s heart. When a potential buyer approached him one day during an exhibition, he spontaneously turned the offer down. He did not want to relinquish the picture. But the customer, a New York art lover, was relentless. After Gunter Langer finally agreed to the sale with a heavy heart, the collector invited Langer to visit him in New York. What the artist saw there, consoled him for the loss. Because his very own “Sophie” was in the best of company – alongside works by Picasso, Kokoschka and Feininger.

Jürgen Magister


Being Diffident- Photoluminescent Paint

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Standing, Fluorescent -Luminescent Acrylic Painting

“This nude started out as a horror trip,” remembers Gunter Langer. He had the idea of painting a picture that can be viewed in three ways: in daylight, under UV light and with an afterglow in complete darkness. The problem is that the colours change with the light. Titanium white, for example, becomes black in UV light. This means that translucent spots painted in white that give the picture a luminous intensity in daylight turn into horrible dark spots under UV light. If Langer corrected the picture under UV light he would ruin the daylight picture. And if he then corrected this again, he would once again destroy the UV picture. “Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. And things got decidedly worse until I figured out how to do it.” The work of art is now not just an attractive female nude. Its technical presentation under changing light is a real highlight in exhibitions.

Jürgen Magister


Morning Dew

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Standing, Gouache

“Morning Dew” was produced for an exhibition entitled “Der Reiz der Grazien” (The Allure of the Graces). The curator wanted large formats. A new challenge for Gunter Langer, because the bigger the picture, the more difficult it is for him to apply his special technique of shaping lines in a single stroke. The change to a large format for him was like asking a violinist to suddenly play double bass. Gunter Langer took a gamble. And the result is more than convincing. Using his own special technique for space-consuming lines, he has succeeded in painting a self-assured nude who exudes tingling eroticism. The artist enhances this impression through the use of gouache paints. They breathe life into the figure and give the work a three-dimensional depth

Jürgen Magister


Large -Format Paintings - an Artistic Challenge

Gunter Langer, Female Nude, Sitting, Gouache Watercolour Pencil

There are many famous examples of large-format paintings – Rafael’s “Sistine Madonna”, Otto Dix’s monumental triptych “The War”, and “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso. Drawings, on the other hand, hardly exist larger than 297x420 mm (A3). The problem is the perspective. The distance between the artist and the page is dictated by his arm’s length. The larger the format, the more difficult it is to see the drawing from a short distance. " It is no longer possible to capture the proportions with a single look. It is difficult to correlate the shapes correctly," explains Gunter Langer.
Nevertheless, he has been drawing on A2 paper (420x594 mm) since 2007 and has recently started drawing on A1 paper (841x1189 mm). He could do this easily by using techniques employed by many artists when working on large-format paintings. First, they draw their composition in a small format and then transfer it onto a larger-dimension support using gridlines as well as projecting and tracing it.
Gunter Langer declines this approach to drawing. “You can only bring a drawing to life if you draw your lines freehand and thereby follow your inspiration. An artist is confined by only drawing contour lines. These lines are dead and so is the whole drawing.” Thus, his challenge is accurately realising his motifs in large formats

Jürgen Magister