Heinz Gappmayr Einführung

Heinz Gappmayr on YouTube

Heinz Gappmayr (1925-2010), is one of the leading representant of visual poetry, to which he contributed since the end of the 60s with numerous texts and writings on Concrete Poetry.

Backing material of Gappmayr’s work is language. He uses letters, words, numbers, occasionally lines and geometrical forms, presented visually to analyse the categorical possibilities of language itself. In this way, language is liberated from its function as carrier of meaning and becomes itself the work of art. With his One-Word-Texts and Numbers-Texts Heinz Gappmayr holds a specific position among visual and concrete poets. Gappmayr’s use of language as a visual means allows the viewer to visualize concpets that are not conventionallty representable. The kind of visual presentation of numbers and letters, occasionally combined with graphic elements, makes evident that these artworks are not assimilable to literature, but rather visual poetry.

The oeuvres Gappmayr’s focuses especially on the representation of the categories of ›time‹ and ›space‹, namely ideas that cannot be visually illustrated, but are themselves the base of every representation.

The concept of time is translated visually, though sign and meaning are at a first glance separated from each other. The letters appear only as fragments, since the complete word is nowhere to be found. Yet the word, its meaning, can be intuitively grasped as the passing of ›time‹ becomes felt and experienced.

Colours, a 10-parts work from the year 1983, is composed of 5 coloured canvases with the primary colours yellow, red, blue and both non-colours black and white. Below each coloured canvas are similar ones displaying the name of each colour written in back on a white background. The word „red“, for example, and the canvas painted in red above it, evidence the difference between perception and imagination: the sensation of the colour evoked by the text written on the canvas is automatically linked to a particular object, a different one for each observer. However by eliminating objects from the picture, imagination is set free. The artworks gain universal value. In this manner, Heinz Gappmayr visualizes the ideality of thought in its polyvalent coplexity without ever crossing the boundaries of reality.


Heinz Gappmayr - erahnte Nähe

Heinz Gappmayr

erahnte Nähe ‧ 2009
Aquatec auf Leinwand über Holz, 160 x 110 cm, Inv.-Nr. 3262
Heinz Gappmayr - Colours

Heinz Gappmayr

Colours ‧ 1983, 1994
Aquatec auf Leinwand über Holz, 10-teilig, je 80 x 55 cm, WVZ 521/83, Inv.-Nr. 1384
Heinz Gappmayr - Zeit

Heinz Gappmayr

Zeit ‧ 2005
Radierung, 70 x 50 cm, Aufl. 30 Ex., WVZ 2342/01, Inv.-Nr. 2366


Dr.  Dorothea  van der Koelen