Karl Hubbuch, The Swimmer Of Cologne
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 66 cm
There is a genuine oddness about Karl Hubbuch's 1923 Neue Sachlichkeit (the New Objectivity or New Sobriety movement) drawing, The Swimmer of Cologne. The improbable location, the indeterminate expression of the muscular swimmer, the obsessive attention to the engineering of the bridge and the detailed drawing of Cologne cathedral make this illogical art work both indecipherable and compelling.
It is the completeness of Hubbuch's vision that made an alternative interpretation quite difficult to achieve in this re-imagining -- a fact I discovered when the work was almost finished. Rather than abandon the project, I decided to let it stand as a homage to a quirky and not generally well known artist.
Hatje Cantz: New Objectivity