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Nicolas Eber: The Blind and the Deaf

With his so called «Spiritual Flowers» series of paintings Hans Mattis Teutsch reached the previously, prior to him by nobody yet reached and conquered peak of painting Olymp i.e. the creation of the «absolute» painting. This way, its stations, its stylistic and with regard to content development are in view of his works clearly and doubtlessly recontructable and refollowable. His to that goal / objective stepwise developed picturial language is by far the simplest, clearest and generally best intelligible.

The more is it surprising, that according to the available signs the nearly one century of time elapsed since the creation of the works in question did neither the professional world nor the general public suffice to understand and recognise this.

Music aswell as painting – in a broader sense the arts – are such specific / individal languages which although explainable and interpretable by words, finally are only accessible by hearing respectively seeing. For deafs and blinds they are remaining however even through indirect means finally unacessible and unexplaiable. Although possesing doubtlessly a substantial intellectual side aswell, they are remaining in the end in a decisive sence merely accessibles sensorially by hearing respectively seeing. Whereas in the field, respectively history, of music or hearing, a parallel is barely known, we are finding us here in a visual subject confronted with a sort of mistery. Would it be possible that regarding this matter so to say the entire mankind – with only very few exceptions – is suffering in a partial blindness ?

From another field of life the role and function of the blindleader is known. When thinking about it one recognizes rather soon that it is i a way an impossible role, since the two participants are essentially lacking a common language, a common denominator, which would enable them real mutual understanding. The blindleader is mere able to protect his protégé against dangers resulting from his blindness, however not for explaining him the peculiarities and beauties of nature or of objets d’art. A similar statement is possible with respect to the relationship between deaf persons and music.

It is obvious that with regard to blindness and deafness different degrees may exist. In the case of a completely deaf person the explanation of compositions by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Verdi is obviously hopeless. In the case of partial blindness with regard to the visual domain due to the lack education a correction is however basically possible. This is the reason why I am confident and not considering it as hopeless to change the prevailing unsatisfactory situation with regard to the art of Mattis Teutsch – especially with reagard to his anthropomorphic trees and « Spiritual Flowers » – by the inproved and intesified combined use of visual and intellectual means.

It appears that both in respect to the aptitudes of seeing and appreciating visual art and /or listening music a broad scale exists, which can not limitlessly attained by those who are not owning them. But the situation – except in the case of fully blinds and deafs – cannot be regarded as hopeless and their aptitudes can be very well educated an developed by appropriate means.

According to Iván Hevesy Mattis Teutsch attained by his « Spiritual Flowers » to the « pure picturial picture », « which is no more salient from a to be reproduced outside or inside subject, however from the picture itself ».

The here above mentioned partial blindness, which could serve in a first attempt wit a sort of explanation for the sofar not appropriate and mainly in international respect de facto non-existing recognition of Mattis Teutsch isn’t however the only possible declaration of the matter in question and its from an objective sight ununderstandable situation. Its other possible explanation could be obviously sought after in the assumption that for some reason the judgement of Mattis Teutsch isn’t objective.

A possible relevant explanation can be supposed therein, that Hans Mattis Teutsch isn’t really regarded, acknowledged by any nation as really belonging to it. From the three nations in question – the hungarian, german an rumanian – thr rumanien falls out of consideration with regard to the circumstance that his birthtown became only part of it against the middle of his life and that he – according to our knowledge – didn´t really ever well master the rumanien language. Regarding the german language the situation is such, that it was his « mothertongue » and the language of his early childhood and he has learned hungarian only during his teenaga at the Woodindustrial-School. The circumstance he was writing his poems and also his arttheoretical studies without any exception in german, may be well considered in this respect as a clear proof. The importance oft he hungarian language resulted for him from circumstance, that his further education took in the first instance in hungarian language territory – in Budapest – place, where did even exert a teaching aactivity and where also the fateful turn of artistic career, his relationship to Lajos Kassák and his and his magazine MA took place.

Lajos Kassák was in his time in hungarian respect due to his descent and leftpolitical orietation obviously an «outsider», which has received ist obvious expression and confirmation through his immigration following the fall oft the shortlived Hungarian sowjet-republic. Thereafter the most importantprofessional relationship of Mattis-Teutsch became the «Sturm-Gallery» oft he jewish descent Herwarth Walden, alias Georg Lewin, who towards the end oft he 1920’s presumably due to right trend oft he political conditions and to the strenthening antisemitism in Germany emigrated tot he Soviet-Union and died there soon under tragical circumstances. With other words were thet wo most important supporter of the artistis career of Mattis Teutsch themselves outsider.

As we know terminated Hans Mattis Teutsch around 1928-29 suddenly, without any transition or explanation his prior to that active West-European exhibition activity and simultaneously also his artistic creational activity and withdrew himself to his birthtown, Brasow, where he continued to exert his teaching activity till the end of his days. The clear proof of primeordinary political reasons of this radical step was to my opinion delivered by the takeup, continuation, of his artpainting activity in 1945 following the end of Worldwar II. and the simultaneous leftturn in politics, until the end of his life in 1960.

According to my assumption the above lines are delivering a logical and convincing declaration regarding an until these very days entirely unexplained phenomenon in the case of an artist of great and epochal importance and are hopefully able to contribute to his overdue international recognition.

Nicolas Eber / ebnic@sunrise.ch

MT Frühsommer 200dpi

Early spring – man, youngster and 4 girls in the shape of anthropomorphous trees approx. 1917, oil / cardboard, 50 x 60 cm


Sensations, approx. 1920, oil / cardboard, 29 x 36 cm

                          31.                                 29.

Spiritual flowers, blue, ca. 1922, Spiritual flowers, yellow, ca. 1922,

oil / cardboard, 36 x 29 cm oil / cardboard, 36 x 29 cm


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