Dominik Eckel

Dominik Eckel, M.A.

Universität zu Köln (october 2021)

PhD project : Die Formalisierung der Bewegung in der Malerei nach 1945. Körper und Choreografie bei K. O. Götz, Georges Mathieu, Jackson Pollock und Kazuo Shiraga


The works of K.O. Götz, Georges Mathieu, Jackson Pollock, and Kazuo Shiraga are intertwined by a conceptual coherence: in different ways, these four artists explore a range of bodily actions on the pictorial surface. These corporal investigations of abstraction, as well as their formalized bodily movements, will be determined as choreographed processes. The artists value the use of photographic and video documentation, therefore theatrically staging their gestures, and comment on their working processes. This mediatization of their processes alters the perception of the paintings, emphasizing a choreographic expansion of pictorial methods that need to be put in a new context, asking how a choreographic input can affect the discourse on the theory of painting. Furthermore, the works of Götz, Mathieu, Pollock, and Shiraga as well as the circulating photo- and video-graphic documentation are traveling through diverse exhibitions and publications in the 1950s, which will therefore be analyzed from a transcultural perspective. If the choreographic processes are transmitted through the formalization of the movement and by the documenting media, this theoretic aspect may be a precondition for a fast and “triumphal” spread of gestural abstraction and its leading figure, Jackson Polock. Which are the hierarchies of this hegemonistic comprehension of gestural abstraction, how can they be deconstructed, and how do the artists behave towards them?


  • Reinhard & Sonja Ernst-Stiftung-Stipendium
  • Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants

Research focus

  • Choreography and Art
  • Performance Art
  • Postwar Abstraction
  • Postcolonial/Transcultural Art History


Dominik Eckel

Dominik Eckel , M.A.