Now and Then
Artist Gunter Christmann and his life partner Jenny Christmann were legends. Free thinking eccentrics of the first order. Influencing younger artists with their mischievous playful anarchism from four floors up in downtown Darlinghurst. Just across the road from the art school, perfectly situated to challenge a few young brains over a coffee.
I never met Gunter and Jenny, but looking at Gunther’s survey show of works at HEIDE last night, (the first retrospective of his work in an Australian museum) I felt like I had.
Gunter sure liked to test out what paint could do, and within his fifty year painting career there’s a constant testing and shifting of styles and techniques. There’s none of the complacency of the product development schtick that lesser artists settle into, where they hit on a style popular with the punters then reproduce it over and over again for a couple of decades. I like an artist who takes chances, risks something of themselves by shifting it up a gear.
Those who turned out last night for Gunter’s retrospective spoke warmly of his life and his work, a sweet poem to the love of his life Jenny.