Keyworks selection Friedrich Zettl
keyworks zettl: This page presents key works that show Friedrich Zettl’s artistic development, and thus provide a better understanding of the artist’s development. At the beginning of his career, some works were based on surrealism, soon followed by phases in which the main focus was on impressionism and expressionism.
The big turning point came during the years in China as Zettl’s intensive involvement with traditional Chinese ink painting influenced his later work. He achieved this through research (dissertation on Chinese painting) and practice (studying at the Central Academy in Beijing).
2020 marks another turning point as abstract painting, combined with earlier experiences and theories from Chinese art, calligraphy, and the art of seal carving, became the center of artistic creation.
The newest artwork is on top of the list
A scene for the opera project “The Magic Sea“.
The opening scene for the opera project “The Magic Sea”
The Magic Sea Opera Project
This project is about the implementation of an idea to create opera as a total work of art in which the performers are replaced by visual representation and are tied into an optical narrative thread by AI.
a step further in the integration of surrealistic aspects in abstract painting.
“zen moment” is an abstract painting with different inks on yupo paper.
landscape in corona mode (II)
mixed media on paper
sheet from a series that deals with the covid-19
composition in red and black
mixed media on paper
sheet from a series that deals with Chinese calligraphy
composition in pink
series of paintings ink on yupo paper
Mao poems on antique prints
In this series, ancient western prints, documents, and other ephemera are overwritten with poems or quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong.
In this series, old Chinese poems or other texts are calligraphed over and over again.
VIDEO with calligraphy by Zettl
withered leaves and blossoms
In this series, in which dried flowers and leaves are used, the main aim is to process the principles of Chinese painting.
VIDEO with similar bookmarks
just another death
Series of portraits of Chinese people under the aspect of memento mori
A Series of drawings were made with a charcoal pencil in a dark studio and with eyes closed.
Portrait of a Musician
The newly developed style in landscape painting was also used for portraits and ended in a series of some 20 works.
Oil pastels on canvas. Chinese children “running away from the Cultural Revolution”.
Series of landscape paintings with dreamlike representations.
Traditional Chinese Landscape
Of course, every painter, whether in the West or in China, has to develop his own style sooner or later. However, to understand Chinese painting, it is essential to copy the old masters in painting and calligraphy. Above all, to become familiar with the technique and composition of the important painters.
Larger picture on canvas, mixed media
Portrait of a Chinese Peasant
This portrait of a Chinese farmer was made in Beijing in 1981. I had already worked a lot with Chinese painting techniques and tried to integrate them into western graphics.
VIDEO with portraits by Zettl
Portrait of Nanette
Larger oil painting with a portrait of Nanette, a friend’s daughter. Painted in our studio where Falco started his solo career. Related article: Where Stars were born.
Passers-by watch football in a shop window
In 1978, certainly strongly influenced by the painter Georg Eisler, Zettl began to do graphics using oil pastels.
This image shows people watching a soccer game in front of a shop, selling television sets.
State of the art 1976
One of my first self-portraits. The plan was to paint a self-portrait every year and to name the series “State of the Art”
Saint Maria della Salute in Venice
This graphic is from a series of works created in Venice in 1976. They are sketches with ink and reed pen on paper.
Collage with snippets from old prints, mostly around 1900. A series of lithographs were made from this collage. Edition of 90 pieces.
Not only was the title forgotten, but the entire edition was also lost. (2-3 sheets still exist).
Blog posts on these and similar topics are posted regularly on https://zettl.blog/journals/