Painting technique (Paintings)

Painting technique

The beginning of the pictorial work by Carl Timner, which, according to the catalog of the works, includes about 1300 paintings, the stylized and abstract figurative compositions occupy a large space.

The political events of the early 1960s, such as the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis, which gave new impetus to the cold war between East and West, and the strengthening of civil rights and student movements, especially in the States United (Per Angela Davis, 1972) and West Berlin (Vietnam III with Rudi Dutschke, 1968), found a great deal of resonance in Timner’s work during the decade. From then on, political and social criticism issues have been a focal point in his work. 

The Timner series on Chile, painted in 1974, played an important role at this time and was a bitter reaction to the bloody coup in Chile in 1973. This was followed by studies for a series on the civil war in Lebanon (1977). Even the questions of security of peace in Timner’s work constitute a leitmotiv in ever new variants, such as Katharina of Alexandria, 1984, a Christian martyr, a myth based on the historical figure of Hypatia of Alexandria, non-Christian killed by Christians, an indictment against the intolerance of religions. 

His inspiration


The human figure occupies the central point, expression of an attitude of human background. Studies of anatomy, studies of movement and clothing have led to numerous intimate figurative compositions, mostly female figures, such as drawings for Hohelied Salomon (Il Cantico dei Cantici, 2006). These act in a spatiality mentioned in different positions (Vietnamese and pupils, 1972), individually or in groups.


In addition, Timner painted numerous Italian landscapes (Cielo sopra la Valle Umbra, 2006) and Germans (Landscape with tree and vase, 1986/1996, German landscape), as well as urban landscapes (The Weidendamm bridge, 2004) and still lifes (Druckereibilder series: Druckereibilder II, 1978 and Druckereibilder IX, 1978).


Timner’s committed realism has its roots in the history of European art from the Renaissance to the realism of the 1920s. His conscious connection with the classical tradition of realistic painting that distinguished his work from the trends of critical or expressive realisms, made him look like an outsider (Melancholie in Rome, 1983). 


In his work we find direct indications to tradition, as for example in the paintings Hommage à Velasquez (1972), Vecchia donna (Käthe Kollwitz) (1974) and Secondo Caravaggio (Love winner) (1998).


Equally important in Timner’s work is portraiture, such as the portrait painted in 1980 by the elderly actor Curt Bois, active in West Berlin after his exile in the United States.

Karl Hofer

Karl Hofer’s work was also an important source of inspiration for him see the series: Variations on “The Black Rooms” – Tribute to Karl Hofer (1995).