The Principle of Formlessness
Karl Otto Götz - Luis Feito López - Jean Miotte - Bernard Schultze - Emil Schumacher - Jeroslav Serpan - Fred Thieler


With our new exhibition Informel – „The Principle of Formlessness“ this time we are taking a journey into German and European art history of the post-war period.  

For many years, Galerie Bentler has been concerned with the artists of the ZERO movement, with Günther Uecker, Heinz Mack and Otto Piene and others, who wanted to start from scratch with their art at the end of the 1950s, to create something completely new and thus set themselves apart from the existing and existing in art.

But what did ZERO art want to distance itself from, what did this art movement want to overcome, what was there that it wanted to turn away from?

Our new exhibition aims to answer these and many other questions. We want to look at the predominant art movement of the 1950s and show what its outstanding artists have been doing in their work from that time until today. Bernard Schultze, Fred Thieler, Karl-Otto Gütz and others created works of lasting beauty and significance into old age. They established a „direction of painting that, free of all rules … , arrived at bold and fantastic images“ (1).

„The artist no longer composes towards a pre-planned result. Instead, he allows dynamic processes to become vivid: He fixes the act of painting itself at the moment of greatest concentration as a trace of movement in the picture …“ (2)


Consequently, the most important representatives of Informal Painting exhibited at documenta II in Kassel in 1959. From then on, their works were among the most important works of German and European post-war art.

„Looking back, Informel … must be considered one of the most original achievements of post-war art. From today's perspective, it marks the interface between modernism and postmodernism and continues to have an impact on contemporary art.

Without a doubt, this is an äußerst interesting and exciting topic, which we have not yet discussed with you in the gallery.

We are particularly pleased to have Prof. Christoph Zuschlag from the Institute of Art History at the University of Bonn as our guest this evening. After all, Prof. Zuschlag knew some of the artists personally.

(1) Oxford Languages

(2) Hans-Jürgen Schwalm, Foundation for Informal Art