Rayk Goetze is a German artist associated to the New Leipzig School. His paintings combine different inspirations from the history of art, mixing Renaissance, baroque, and classical references. Although this reference system is at the heart of his work, Goetze adds a contemporary style to them, and thus confronts the spectator with the discontinuity of time. This metaphysical approach to painting has been recognized through solo shows in Germany and France as well as through several group exhibitions around the world.
At the occasion of an exhibition at Josef Filipp Galerie in Leipzig, MMKoehn Verlag published a monograph titled Zärtliche Zeiten (literally “tender times”). The book designed by Simone Vollenweider shows productions spanning from 2017 to 2020, and is introduced by an essay written by Heike Geißler. The catalog is structured around a stylistic duality, represented by the typographic choices of brand new Tempel Grotesk (2021) from Production Type and Palatino (1950) from Linotype. Tempel Grotesk was designed by Reymund Schröder and is a black sans that plays on the heaviness of block-like letters on the page. This association makes sense when it faces the paintings: we see immediately how the large solid-color brush strokes give structure to the figurative detailed sceneries and how it disturbs the spatial perception of the paintings, where background and foreground merge. The two capital Z’s from Tempel Grotesk’s most condensed width, screen printed on the corners of the cloth cover, look like two abstract touches of paint that punctuate the format of the object. Besides, the layout of the book mixes horizontal and vertical text, then again, reminding us of the dynamics of the paintings’ compositions.
The contrast of the black type with the calligraphic construction of Palatino is also historical: although Palatino was conceived by Hermann Zapf for commercial use and printing on low-quality paper in the mid-20th century, its inspiration comes from humanist Renaissance types. We therefore find as much formal as conceptual similarities between the work of the artist and the design of this publication.