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  • Alfred Klinkan

Gelber Schamane

Yellow Shaman

1977 - 1978
Oil on canvas
78.74 inch x 59.06 inch x 1.18 inch
Leihgabe der Artothek des Bundes/On loan from the Artothek des Bundes 1981
Inventory number: L 120/0

“Magic World Paintings”, is how Austrian painter Alfred Klinkan named a series of works, also called “Alfred Klinkan in the Land of Cockaigne, or Wonderland of A-Sch”. Most are large-format canvasses, covered all over with a web of shapes often blazing red and yellow hues. Individual elements become discernible, and combine to form magical creatures, metamorphoses of forms taking place in multiple spots simultaneously, never allowing the gaze to rest.
The „Yellow Schamara“, the creature surpassing all the others in size, is a figment of the artist’s imagination. This hybrid of man and ram reminiscent of ancient Egyptian and Sumerian gods seems to be a FRIENDLY creature, though, not at all a forbidding god. The playful, almost naive representations covering the canvas over and over evoke a plethora of associated pictures; there is no end to shapes birthing animals and magical creatures. This mythical baroque world of metamorphosis is contrary to a modern rationalist paradigm.
In the 1970ies, then-contemporary art attempted to substitute classical painting with alternative strategies like text, performance, real action, film, and photography. Klinkan, with his individual playful giant canvasses, hung on to Painting, and to the idea that emotion and fantasy be not just autobiographical trivialities concerning the author only, but allow us to fantasize, to immerse ourselves in his bizarre world of animals and painted forms.