Color aquatint and etching on wove paper, 1987.
Edition of 95.
Neumühlen is a strip of land along the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany which was once a quaint village. It was absorbed by the city and became an industrial area used throughout the 20th century. It was later abandoned and redeveloped into a neighborhood of office buildings in the early 2000s. At the time of the creation of this etching, the area was likely mostly abandoned. The surrealist composition is unusual for the artist, who primarily depicted landscapes, windmills, boats, and other rural scenes. It is half night and half day. A woman reclines on a fancy sofa, atop what seem to be men’s clothes, while her own can be assumed to be on the floor. She is apparently gasping for air. The scene is set.
It is also clearly an homage to Paul Delvaux, the famed Belgian surrealist painter, who obsessively depicted nude women around trains and train stations, usually at dusk or dawn, with a crescent moon often adding stillness to eerily quiet scenes. Riemiger must have had an encounter which prompted him to revisit this artistic concept. Or was he commissioned by a Delvaux enthusiast? Little is known of the artist’s life and oeuvre to give us a hint as to the exact inspiration for this arresting composition.
Signed, dated, titled, and numbered in pencil.