"All my pictures require no additional interpretation. They are suitable as a model for the viewer's imagination. My life's work is to produce pictures whose imagination immediately renews the diminished life efficiency of the viewer after any type of interruption." (Dietrich Orth).

At the same time as the exhibition of Franz Ackermann, Portikus Frankfurt presents pictures of the artist Dietrich Orth, born in 1956 and today living in Kaufbeuren. It is Dietrich Orth's first exhibition in a public art space.

Shortly after taking his Abitur at a Hessian boarding-school with the best grades, Dietrich Orth suffered a partial functional disorder the brain. He began painting in 1985 within the framework of a therapy. Since that time, he has created extraordinary and impressive pictures that don't fit into any common category. As opposed to so-called "outsider art", Orth's works are neither expressive nor naive. They are, moreover, carefully-conceived psychological compositions preceded by a series of studies and sketches. Orth has time and again stressed the conceptual side of art ("An artistic idea stems from the dynamics of universal necessity and not from fantasy"). Recurring themes are the so-called "applications of pictures to parts of the body", the effects of psychotropic drugs, and the psycho-physical states of humans.

In most of Dietrich Orth's pictures there are short texts written directly on the canvas or glued to it. These texts are at once title, introduction, and instruction for the viewer, aimed at re-establishing an emotional balance in the viewer via the "imagination- and application-pictures" (D. Orth). The act of painting possesses, among other things, therapeutic qualities for Orth; he additionally sees his pictures as a means of therapy for the viewer. In 1993, Dietrich Orth made the following winding but concise statement, talking of himself in the third person: "His pictures effect an increased inner emotional intensity, mostly when walking, as well as, at times, when swinging the right arm, touching the teeth, or also while lying down. He makes the experience that with relatively little patience the same soothing effect of the pictures with prescribed relations to the body are the same in all viewers."

Photo: Katrin Schilling