Artist Jörg Czischke (19451997) lived and worked in Cologne and occasionally northern Italy. Czischke was a determined and brave avant-gardist. One of his most striking qualities was his inability to be typecast or classified. None of the artistic disciplines were foreign to him, he tried every one. But being forced into one, regardless of how enticingly comfortable and convenient, was something he found revolting – both physically and psychologically.

When asked about avant-garde artists, he demanded more classical skills and higher quality craftsmanship in their work. He accused some of the Pop Art that emerged in the 1970s and later dominated the art scene of being intellectually and thematically boring.

He rejected attempts to exclusively categorize his experiments in colour (Form-Colour-Form) as constructivism after spending several years in this niche of the art market. For him, this part of his work was an important step in his development on his path towards what he considered to be his ideal art.

His long-time companion, partner and future wife, his colleagues in Cologne, his friends, his enviers and rivals saw and experienced him as a sceptical thinker and opulent painter, a radical typographer and purist drawer, a creative designer and uncompromising mentor, a self-exploiting paraphrast and consistent creator, an inexhaustible object artist and solipsistic theorist. As an artist, he deplored the stagnancy of the general public and the institutional opposition in the traditional business of art – despite the many Cologne-specific, innovative activities in the many galleries and bustling scene in he Cologne art market at the time. He was dissatisfied with the journalistic focus on the happenings on the market and its ignorance of creative newcomers and immigrant artists.

He was a difficult, stubborn partner to those who wanted to do business with his art, or wished to use it for decorative purposes. A proponent of two artistic attributes that were especially rare during the 1970s and 1980s, namely self-doubt and the will to produce absolute quality, he made himself and his work scarce.

In many conversations with art dealers, he questioned the prevailing customs on the bourgeois market that he felt confined him. For those who knew him well, it was no surprise when he completely withdrew from the public eye. In many of the things he rejected, he saw the creation of artistically sterile monocultures that were protected by aggressive monopolies of opinion.
Jörg Czischke
“Problematic Precision”
Jörg Czischke – Artist
A Personal reception

Peter Zillig, Cologne