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PRINT Summer 1990

EAST/WEST SIDE STORY: RALPH BAGERITZ

EXCUSE THE PAINTING Gudrun Ensslin, 1989. The green-and-gold letters, spelling out the name of the feared West German terrorist of yesteryear, peacefully adorn the canvas with a rather seductive elegance. Not exactly a name to suit a normal bourgeois household, one might think. And yet that name, in a purely optical sense, strikes a bowdlerized and mawkish note that would seem to incarnate middle-class taste. If the ornamental script inevitably recalls the lettering on a cheap candy box, there are other ways in which the picture, with its checkerboard structure, sets out to mock good taste. In the lower-left and upper-right corners of the painting appear the names of two popular consumer goods available in the West, BOUNTY, the delectable chocolate bar, and L’ORÉAL, the cosmetics line. In the two other corners we find two other names: that of OTTO GRAF LAMBSDORFF, a West German politician

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