Rudi Tröger

Work

Text

Landscape, portrait and still life are the subjects Rudi Tröger has focussed on since the beginning of the 1960s, classical themes that characterise his work even now. But his pictorial approach, the complex genesis of each work, which tends to mean a protracted creative process, reveals traits of fragility, unrest, and doubt, always including the category of failure. Tröger's contemporaneity, the sign of “presentness” in the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, is founded in these traits. When viewed only superficially, however, his work threatens to be easily misunderstood as a result of its alleged other-worldliness and outsider position. Ultimately, it is this ambivalence and permanent tension between the retrospective analysis of his subject matter and the painterly act set firmly in the present that Tröger continually reimagines. This is where the tragedy and greatness of his work are rooted. His art nourishes itself through the standards of nature, not depicting them, but transforming them through the construction of pictorial space, which makes things appear. It is not their objectivity that interests the painter, but only the metamorphoses of the “visual experience“ into the “image idea” that occur in the painting process, and through the means of painting.

The statement that Rudi Tröger made on the occasion of his first exhibition in the Kunstraum Munich in 1977, that his aim was to make perceptible the sum of “visual experience”, still holds true today. Already in his paintings from the early 1960s, the pictorial spaces were oscillating, multi-layered arrangements. They are characterised by a drawing-like agility and sensitivity, a script-like style, without crossing the border into abstraction, as in the “Informalism” current of that time. The selection presented here does not intend to illuminate all facets of Tröger's painting. It does nonetheless offer a relevant cross-section, with due weight being given to the late works of this painter, who still produces new pieces day by day. In particular, the still lifes and flower pictures which have been created over the last few years, songs with predominantly dark, elegiac sounds, could only have been realised by an artist in the autumn of a fulfilled painter’s life. The lilacs, the peonies and hydrangeas, even the sunflowers, which are typically bright, exist on the brink of death. They no longer appear fresh, but are not yet completely withered. From this ambiguity, wonderful painting emerges which seems to hold time in limbo. We become aware of an utter immersion in the object, a sensitive surrendering, merging “subject” and “object” together.

Text by Michael Semff

Vita

1929

Rudi Tröger is born in Marktleuthen, Oberfranken

(lives and works in Westerholzhausen near Munich)

1946—1949

Studies at the painter Wilhelm Beindorf in Marktleuthen

1949—1957

Studies at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich under Hans Gött and Erich Glette

1967—1992

Teaches at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich

1977

Elected as a full member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich

1993

Art prize of the City of Munich

Friedrich Baur prize for Fine Arts

2013

Kulturpreis Bayern für Malerei (cultural prize of the State of Bayern for painting)

Selected Solo Shows

2016

Rudi Tröger. Bilder 1960 bis 2016 – Karl & Faber, Munich, in cooperation with Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich, curated by Dr. Michael Semff

2014

Rudi Tröger. Blumenbilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2013

Rudi Tröger. Werke 1960–2012 – an exhibition of the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Dachau eG at Schloss Dachau (cat.)

2012

Rudi Tröger. Bildnisse 1960–2000 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

2010

Rudi Tröger. Bilder und Arbeiten auf Papier 1958–2008 – Schönewald Fine Arts, Düsseldorf (cat.)

Rudi Tröger – Galerie Maier, Innsbruck

2009

Heinz Butz und Rudi Tröger – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich, exhibiting as a guest at Galerie Lelong, Zurich (cat.)

2008—2009

Rudi Tröger. Zeichnen und Malen – Galerie Rolf Ohse, Bremen

2007

Rudi Tröger. Bilder und Arbeiten auf Papier – Galerie Josephski-Neukum, Issing am Ammersee

2006

Rudi Tröger. Gartenbilder – Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus and Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich (cat.)

Rudi Tröger. Bilder und Gouachen – Völcker & Freunde, Berlin

2004

Rudi Tröger. Pastelle – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

2002

Rudi Tröger. Stilleben 1963–2002 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

1999

Rudi Tröger. Arbeiten auf Papier – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich (cat.)

Rudi Tröger. Arbeiten auf Papier – Galerie Zell am See, Austria

Rudi Tröger. Wasserfarben 1995–1997 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

1997

Rudi Tröger. Bildnisse und Figuren 1963–1993 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

1996

Rudi Tröger. Bildnisse 1963–1993 – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York (cat.)

1995

Rudi Tröger und Katharina von Werz – Staatliche Akademie und Museum für angewandte Kunst, St. Petersburg, Russia (cat.)

1994

Rudi Tröger. Druckgraphik – Neue Galerie Dachau, Dachau

Rudi Tröger. Landschaftsbilder – Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München, exhibition at the Galerie im Rathaus, and Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

Rudi Tröger. Bildnisse – Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich

Rudi Tröger. Gemälde und Zeichnungen – Kunstpavillon Innsbruck

1993

Rudi Tröger. Badebilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

Rudi Tröger. Figuren und Stilleben in der Landschaft. Bilder, Zeichnungen und Grafiken – Galerie Zell am See, Austria

1990

Rudi Tröger. Wasserfarben 1963–1967 – Galerie Jahn und Fusban, Munich (cat.)

1988

Rudi Tröger. Bilder 1959–1987 – Villa Stuck, Munich (cat.)

1987

Rudi Tröger. Zeichnungen 1957–1985 – Städtisches Museum Leverkusen, Schloss Morsbroich (cat.)

1985

Rudi Tröger. Druckgraphik 1965–1968 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat. with catalogue raisonné)

1983

Rudi Tröger. Bildnisse 1982–1983 – Galerie Tanit, Munich (cat.)

1977

Rudi Tröger. Bilder und Zeichnungen 1963–1976 – Kunstraum Munich (cat.)