Otto Fried – “Heaven can wait / Heaven can’t wait”
21.06.2020 – 16.08.2020
Otto Fried was born in 1922 in Horchheim, a district of Koblenz, Germany. Due to the emerging anti-Semitism in Germany, his family sends him to the United States, where he arrives in 1936 in Portland, Oregon. In 1943 he joins the US-Army Air Corps and is deployed at various theatres of war in India, China and Burma. Upon his return, he enrolled in the Art and Architecture Department of the University of Oregon in 1947. At the end of 1949 he travels to France to collaborate with Fernand Léger, in whose studio he works for two years. In 1951 he had his first solo exhibition at the American Library in Paris. In 1952, works by Fried were already shown in New York. In 1960 the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, purchased a monotype for its permanent collection. He lived and worked for a long time in Paris and New York before settling permanently in Paris in 2010. Over the years he undertakes numerous trips, including one to Japan, which has had a lasting influence on him: exhibitions in Tokyo, television interviews and meetings with Japanese artists.
Otto Fried is honoured with an exhibition of works from his studio. Early works from the 1950s, are presented with a few oil paintings and almost cubistic-looking drawings, form the foundation of a later almost exclusively abstract visual language that Otto Fried developed. Based primarily on cosmic-looking discs and circles, Otto Fried formulates numerous variations that are highly vivid in their color scheme. This results in an interweaving of depth and space, of a mostly melodic sound, which he concentrates in the centre of the picture and lets fade away towards the edges. Some sculptures broaden the view of his work, which is multifaceted – and rich in variations up to the present. Assemblages with found objects, woods and metal sheets he forms and shapes as well as a pattern of colour-soaked paper towels, which he arranges just as artistically.
Otto Fried was last honoured in 2001 in Koblenz when he donated his composition “Leewärtige Illusion” to the Sankt Maximin Church in Koblenz-Horchheim.
The artist Otto Fried (*1922, Horchheim) died in the night to 31.12.2020 at the age of 98 years.
A comprehensive catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition, which offers a multifaceted view of Otto Fried’s artistic work and his career.
The exhibition was supported by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, the artist Otto Fried and the intensive collaboration with his great cousin Dr. Barbara Wolbert.