Stranded Ship, Turkey

Lotte Berger

Vienna 1938

Stranded Ship, Turkey

Watercolour on paper

47.5 x 65 cm (sheet)

Signed lower right: Lotte Berger

Over the years Lotte Berger has created a comprehensive oeuvre profound in its symbolism, its omnipresent theme the symbiotic communion of nature, humans, animals and plants. Myths, religious themes, the Middle East, Istanbul, foreign cultures and indigenous peoples attract the artist greatly; beauty and the threat to creation are elementary subjects. It is not the portrayal, rather emotion, a rush of colour and dreams which lie at the heart of Lotte Berger’s often mysterious and encoded artistic work.
‘My love of the Orient was an important motivation for me to go straight to Turkey after studying and accepting the offer of teaching at the art academy in Istanbul. This chance to live for some time in an oriental country led me to overcome all difficulties. As a woman in a male-dominated society, very young moreover, rather small and delicate as I was, I didn’t have an easy time of it of course, but I managed to assert myself. The work with the students, the contact with colleagues, above all the surroundings, the colours, the light, the cats and dogs in the cityscape, the bazaars with their abundance of goods on offer, the effervescent life and bustle in Turkey, all this inspired me. The bright colours and disordered appearance of Istanbul, which offered a new surprise visually on every corner, this variety of shapes and forms in glowing colours – all these fascinating impressions gradually led me to the abstract. This variety of life, not found in our country in this form, could only be expressed for me in dense, colourful abstractions. My love of colours that continues to this day for sure stems from these experiences in Istanbul.’ Lotte Berger