Montagnes de neige

RICHARD HAMILTON
Montagnes de neige
ca. 1975-78
Colored chalk on cardboard
50 x 65 cm
Signed lower right

The Gestapo arrested him in 1944 in Venice, where he lived, for alleged resistance activity and deported him to Dachau in November. The suffering was immediate and uninterrupted until the liberation of the camp by the Americans in April 1945.
All I did before Dachau was anonymous painting. I was nothing but a young man, because it amused me to run around in the world.
During the last weeks before the liberation, when supervision had loosened, Music managed to draw. He procured the materials, paper and ink, which he diluted with water so that his “theft” would not be noticed. He procured them from the office of the architects, who were also deportees.
I draw as if in a trance. In a morbid way I get stuck on the piece of paper. I am dazzled by the unreal size of this camp full of corpses. From a distance they appear to me like areas of white snow, like silver reflections on the mountains. Or even comparable to the white seagulls sitting on the lagoon, in view of the black background of a thunderstorm approaching from afar…
I was in a feverish state and felt the irresistible need to draw so that I would not miss this grandiose and tragic beauty. I lived only for this day. Tomorrow it would be too late. Life, death – for me everything hung on these sheets of paper.
When the Americans liberated the camp in April 1945, Music returned to Venice, after a brief stay in Gorizia. He painted groups of horses in front of ochre and sienna-colored Dalmatian landscapes. These vistas turned out in retrospect to be the beginnings of his cycle “We are not the last”, which he began 25 years after Dachau in 1970 and finished in 1988, and whose stacked corpses recall the Dalmatian hills.

€ 6000.-

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