Ivan The Terrible and His Son Ivan, 2012, pencil drawing, 146x177 cm
Woman With Pearl Necklace (Vermeer) 2012, pencil drawingm 91x113 cm
The Heinemann Collection, 2012, portfolio of 13 pencil drawings à 53x40 cm

Jana Gunstheimer´s series titled "Methods of Destruction" started in 2011 according to an intense period of research.

"Methods of Destruction" has been exhibited at Frankfurter Kunstverein and Museum Folkwang, Essen in 2012 and gained remarkable attention and press.

Gunstheimer´s "Destructions" tell stories about violence, terror, vanity, obsession and perversions. The artworks substitutionally suffer in place of real life from massive kinds of injury, attacks and destruction.

The pencil drawings depict famous artworks - embodying inestimable value in western culture in a state of damage.The color is replaced by a masterly black and white "Chiaroscuro" reminding to photographic representation. For the viewer it is shocking to realize such traces of violence of nearly haptic clearness on the depicted artworks.

Each depicted painting is accompanied by a short but precise report on the course of events leading to the current state of damage. This is documented in letter press print on a second sheet of paper underneath the drawing.

For example in 1942 on occasion of Franco´s 50th birthday celebration Goya´s famous "The Shooting of the Third of May" becomes target for another shooting, a second execution of the revolutionists. Or, the face on Feuerbach´s "Lucrezia Borgia", Hitler´s favorite painting, gets lacerated at the Nazis´ headquarter in Munich by American troopers during the liberation. Or, a drawing by Lorrain is erased in parts by a collector´s wife with ambitions and replaced by her own hand with a local landscape. Besides the tragic aspects the last case is also a little side blow towards Rauschenberg´s famous "Erased de Kooning".

Landscape with Hagar and the Angel

Methods of Destruction, Landscape with Hagar and the Angel, 2011, pencil and letter press on paper, 77,5 x 91 cm

Lorrain‘s pencil drawing of a Landscape with Hagar and the Angel was irreparably damaged by a wealthy manufacturer‘s wife, Caroline von Ebert. Of petit-bourgeois origin,she had married into exalted circles which neither acknowledged nor appreciated heras the lady of the house. So she tried to gain recognition by taking up artistry. Lacking the necessary talents herself, she used her spouse‘s collection of drawings instead, partly erasing and reworking them.In the case of Lorrain‘s landscape, she removed the lower part of the picture, depicting a mythologically tinted Italian landscape, and tentatively replaced it with a view of her homeland, the Lower Rhine.

The Shooting of the Third of May

Methods of Destruction, The Shooting of the Third of May, 2011, pencil and letter press on paper, 178 x 243 cm

On 4 December 1942 Goya‘s painting The Shootings of the Third of May was so severely damaged that it was initially unclear whether it could be saved. General Luiz Fernando Mendez had decided to stage aspecial surprise on the occasion of Franco‘s50th birthday. He recreated the firing squadscene, in accurate detail, on the Príncipe Pío hill. Original uniforms were prepared for the troops; the arena and lighting were setup according to Goya‘s painting. However, it was the insurgents in the painting, not realpeople, who were shot.This is readily identifiable as a perverse and calculating show of power rather than an act of barbaric destruction. Franco himself had ordered the summary shooting of more than a thousand political opponents during the Second Republic. He had been deposed afterthe 1936 victory of the Popular Front because of his brutal behaviour as Commanderin-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1939, after Franco‘s takeover of power, this brutality reached a new climax. The staged second shooting of insurgents was a clear and impressive demonstration of how political opponents were going to be treated.