from: Friedrich Karl Waechter
published: Hirmer Verlag GmbH
After the death of Friedrich Karl Waechter in September 2005, his graphic legacy of about 4000 sheets passed into the possession of the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum Hannover. In 2009, Waechter, aware of the great benefit this would bring to the museum's collection, dedicated the large exhibition "Zeichenkunst" ("Drawing Art") to the public, which made many of the originals of the great draughtsman, whose cartoons, picture books, and theatrical works made an enormous contribution to the German art scene, accessible to the public.
The accompanying catalogue has been published by Hirmer Verlag for this exhibition, which was also brought in varied form to Frankfurt, Waechter's home of many years, in 2011. "Drawing art" is an entertaining and impressive testimony to Waechter's artistic versatility. With nearly 350 works, from his first drawings for the magazine "pardon" to the popular cartoons from the "Titanic" to works from his picture books for children and adults, the book documents the fact that Waechter constantly evolved and never let himself be put in a drawer. Waechter had the great talent to always find the right form of expression for each of his ideas.
This versatile insight into Waechter's work amuses, provokes, is sometimes evil, sometimes charming, sometimes playful, sometimes cynical. If cartoons like "The Pope Comes" make it clear why the artist likes to be taken aback with his works, "The Animal Puzzle" or "The Story of the Flying Robert" show Waechter's intuition for fabrics suitable for children. Other works, on the other hand, such as "The 11 Most Famous Positions in Male Masturbation" or "The Two of Us", are a wonderfully relaxed way of dealing with sexuality and are therefore aimed more at a somewhat more adult audience.
However, no matter whether children or adults or both should be addressed at the same time, one thing is common to all works: the inseparable interplay between image and text. Waechter not only asks the viewers/readers of his works to take a close look, but also to establish the connection between the images and the texts or captions integrated into them. The ingenuity of the drawings and cartoons often only reveals itself when it has been possible to recognize precisely this connection.
"Drawing Art" is a very lovingly compiled exhibition of works that, out of the wealth of works left behind by Waechter, offers an adequate cross-section of the work of an exceptional artist and his versatility, and at the same time makes his love for what he has done palpable. Whether as a supplement to a visit to the exhibition or as an independent work, anyone interested in satirical Germany should read this book carefully.
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp