“Des Weissen Fisch”
(Of the White Fish)
Dimensions: 59 X 67 cm full sheet
(borders not shown in this illustration)
Signed in Pencil lower left and numbered 38/50 – Dated 1975. Signed, dated and title given in reverse in the plate, upper right.
Also known as: Jörg Anton Schulthess
Jörg Schulthess was born in Basel, the son of a father from Emmenthal and a sephardic Jewish mother who had emigrated from Italy. Schuldhess was a close friend of Jean Dubuffet and became interested in and influenced by Art Brut, particularly the work of Adolf Wolfli.
As a young man he changed the first part of his last name from "Schult" to "Schuld"- the German word for guilt to underline his belief that mankind was burdened with guilt. Deeply troubled by the Holocaust, Schuldhess converted to Judaism in 1968 and adopted Israeli citizenship in 1979. But disappointed by the Israeli occupation in Lebanon, he returned his passport to the Israeli Embassy in Bern in the early 1980s.
The Embassy of Switzerland organized an exhibit of Schuldhess's work at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur in 2004. The exhbition entitled "A mystical painter from Switzerland" looked at the strong influence of Hindu culture on the artist. At his death in 1992, Schuldhess's ashes were released into the Ganges river.
Schuldhess works can be found in collections of the Kunstmuseum, Basel, the Geneva Museum of Art and Hitory, and hte Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris
Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Swiss Art / Website of the Swiss Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.