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Schumacher, Emil
born: 1915 Hagen, Germany
died: 4.10.1999 Ibiza, Spain

Emil Schumacher's development, after being interrupted by the war, came to full fruition in the context of emergent Art Informel in the ea 1950s. Schumacher was one of the major protagonists ofthis inter- national postwar style, though his art never entirely lost its specificall, German character. He was a member of the groups Zen 49, which included Hubert Berke, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, and Fritz Winter, and Zero ofwhich Schumacher was a co-founder in 1958. The serious, even somber character of his work arose from a preference for dark, earth colors and the employment of built-up relief surfaces, which distin- guished Schumacher's canvases from those of French Art Informel. Another frequent device was the framing of the tenter of the image by means of a broad, impasto contour line. Joop of 1963 is a good example of the diversity of surface effects Schumacher was capable of achieving. While the upper, black zone has a matte and relatively flat appearance, the dark-red passage below is dense, encrusted, fissured, and opened out in broad swaths to revea the black ground beneath. A further formal link between the two halves of the irnage is provided by the black wedge descending from the upper field down the far left edge of the canvas. Schumacher. who also was active as an art college instructor in Hamburg [1958-1960) and Karlsruhe (1966), has been described by Werner Schmalenbach as an artist who addresses the dualism between two antithetical elements: the solid, material nature of paint as against the fluidity and spontaneity of application. The artist himself, in his 1972 Buch mit sieben Sregeln (Book of Seven Seals}, stated his aim as retaining "formlessness" allied with defined form.
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