Karl Otto Götz

  • Born 1914 in Aachen, Germany

Karl Otto Götz studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Arts and Crafts School), Aachen, from 1932 to 1933. Around that time he created his first abstract paintings, along with Surrealist works. Despite his painting and exhibition ban from 1935 to 1945 imposed by the National Socialists, his conscription in the German army from 1936 to 1938, and the destruction of most of his early works during the Dresden bombing of 1945, Götz never stopped producing art. During the ‘30s and ‘40s he executed splatter paintings and experimented with collage and photography techniques like solarization and photograms. Götz held his first solo show in 1946 at the studio Rasch, Wuppertal. The following year his monotypes were exhibited in Paris, catching the attention of CoBrA artists. In 1949 Götz became the group’s first German member, turning entirely to abstraction. He co-founded the Frankfurt Quadriga group three years later and developed his signature squeegee technique (Rakeltechnik), emerging as a leading German art informel representative. His grid paintings (Rasterbilder) of the early 1960s, as well as his television art experiments from World War II onwards proved pioneering. Götz was an editor of Meta magazine from 1948 to 1953 and an influential professor at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy), Düsseldorf, from 1959 to 1979. He participated in Documenta, Kassel (1959) and in the Venice Biennale (1958; 1968).