Herwig Zens -- Trance

The painter Herwig Zens is convinced that "art does not spring from knowledge but from inevitability". Therefore great artists, who were destined to live with art, played an important role in his artistic development.

During his studies Zens was influenced by the great Austrian Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka, and later by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, a rich source of inspiration for many artists today. The work of Herwig Zens has a distinctive character, focusing on specific subject matter depicted in large painting and graphic projects. These include the Dance of Death inspired by the Middle Ages, graphic diaries, mythological couples, the Mummy of Palermo, Vanitas - variations after Antonio de Pederas, and the major Goya Project. The subject of the Dance of Death and the Goya Project bears the stamp of monumental work executed in the spirit of New Expressionism. Zens began to work on the Goya Project in 1983 - and created Paraphrases on 14 "Pinturas Negras". Since then this subject has acted as the catalyst of his artistic visions. Apart from the series of pictures, he has created video films and hundreds of graphic prints. His brush strokes are executed in light, but energetic sweeps and contrast colours. Zens' paintings are filled with animation, dynamism and expressive figurative scenes often depicted in large dimensions.

His graphic work is executed in lively animated drawing suggesting the movement of forms. It is apparent that the artist was inspired by the themes of death and the apocalypse, and their artistic treatment in history: hence frequent paraphrases of specific works of art. The monumentality of his concept was manifested particularly in the Dance of Death. The most outstanding work from this series is the "New Dance of Death" created for the Church of the Virgin in Lübeck, which replaced the original 15th century painting destroyed during the war.