At the exhibition we present drawings by Dietrich Helms (b. 1933) from 1954–2006. The earliest date back to when the artist was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg.

Helms unwaveringly endeavours to improve the process of understanding and experiencing drawing, never aiming to give the impression that the work has reached completion. The analysis of individual aspects of the medium, such as the line, the use of space, and the relationship between paper and the graphite, ink or crayon are for him the means of probing the unconscious, the total drawing.

The artist treats the tangible drawing above all as prove of the existence of imaginary drawings. Commenting his creative process, he says that his starting point is a certain imaginary impression, which triggers the creative act. At the next stage, however, this impression is abandoned, to be replaced by another, based on the completed work.

As a result, the total drawing is intended to be created in the artist’s mind. To achieve his aim, Helms employs various methods to weaken his control over the outcome of his work. He creates his drawings serially, one after another – waiting for the moment when his consciousness is lulled by the repetition of the movements. He uses both hands simultaneously, in order to tamper with his control over the line. The most striking are, however, his drawings done with his eyes closed.