Carlfriedrich Claus

Cybernetic Reflection is among Claus’s early “speech sheets.” Combining writing and drawing, these works allowed the artist to explore the relationship between language and visual expression. To make the drawing, Claus used his right hand to cover one side of a semitransparent piece of tracing paper with tiny lines of partially legible text. On the other side, working with his left hand, he created a complex network of dots and lines. While the artist associated his right hand with rationality, he believed that the use of the clumsier left hand allowed him to access the unconscious or not-yet-conscious parts of his mind. The resultant image resembles a spider, with delicate scribbles radiating outward like threads of a spiderweb.

Carlfriedrich Claus
German, 1930–1998
Cybernetic Reflection (recto and verso), 1963
Pen and black and red ink over graphite pencil on tracing paper
INV. NO. C 1963-2082
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Photo: Andreas Diesend