Erstes Mauerbild, 1977

Rainer Fetting is among those artists of West Berlin who introduced an entirely new tone to the painting of the late seventies and the eighties with their stark, garish style, while at the same time making reference to early twentieth-century expressionism in a manner all their own. It was not long before Fetting, Salomé and Helmut Middendorf came to be designated the Neue Wilde (“new wild ones”).

One of Fetting’s central motifs was the Berlin Wall – here we see the section in Zimmerstrasse. He painted the sky a lunar yellow which complements the nocturnal violet blue of the masonry. Owing to the patchy, simplified manner of execution as well as the strong shadows, the unpeopled scene of Berlin by night radiates a combination of cynicism and melancholy with which Fetting achieved a new and disconcerting perspective on the divided city: half colourful folklore, half discoloured horror.

© Rainer Fetting

Tempera on canvas
160 × 190 cm
Inv. No. 2332