Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene [Drawings for Children and Adults] (2011-2020)

Regarded up close, the seven large format drawings in this series reveal a large number of precisely drawn circles from the hand. These dots, filled in with even cross-hatching, are of different sizes but always maintain the same distance from each other. This creates patterns of dots of different density that result in different shapes and areas with distinguishable gray values. As you slowly move away from the drawings, the abstract point grids become representational images – the portrait of a girl, a naked woman with a baby in her arms, two boys with sensual affection for each other.

These are graphic readaptations of double-sided photographs from a textbook on sexual education, released for the first time in 1974 (published by the Protestant Youth Services Press in Germany). The darkened vertical stripes in the middle of the drawing expose themselves to be the shadows in the gutter of an opened book. This once hotly debated and still controversial book is, on the one hand, a contribution to a progressive view of sexuality, in whose tradition many still consider themselves. On the other hand, the book stands for a fatal transfiguration of childhood sexuality, that must be criticized today in the context of the debate on sexual violence against children.

The peculiarity of the series is to translate sexuality, as it was understood in the 1970s, into drawings without following its paradigm of the explicit: due to the chosen ›rough grid‹, you see images that appear vague and almost blurry. If you approach the drawing – giving yourself a voyeuristic impulse – the motif tilts back into a space with an infinite number of points and refuses to let the details be looked at.

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 154/155), 2011, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 64/65), 2012, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 152/153), 2013, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 56/57), 2014, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 44/45), 2018, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 54/55), 2019, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm

Hand drawing of the series »Zeichnungen für Kinder und Erwachsene« [Drawings for Children and Adults] by Herbert Stattler.

Detail Untitled (Doppelseite 28/29), 2020, ink on paper, 222 x 142 cm