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Karl Otto Götz (1914–2017)

Karl Otto Götz, a painter most famously associated with the postwar art informel movement—Europe’s answer to Abstract Expressionism—died at home on August 19 in the tiny German village of Niederbreitbach-Wolfenacker, reports Monopol. He was 103.

Götz was a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for many years. A number of his pupils, such as Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, found international acclaim. On the occasion of his one-hundredth birthday, Götz was honored with numerous exhibitions throughout Germany, including a retrospective at the Neue Nationalgalerie, in 2013–14. For a Critic’s Pick review of the show on, writer Andrea Gyorody called his paintings “a magical convergence of method and chaos, discipline and spontaneity, worthy of greater recognition among his postwar peers.”

“With Karl Otto Götz, our country loses an unusual artist personality—a great, gifted, and in the best sense, self-sufficient painter,” wrote Norbert Lammert, the president of Germany’s parliament. Walter Smerling, the director of the Duisburger Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art, said that “cultural dignity was returned to our country” by Götz after World War II.