Interview with Fritz Panzer: The Experiment of the “Berliner Zeitung”


From October 1998 to the end of 1999, drawings of Austrian artist Fritz Panzer appeared in the daily newspaper “Berliner Zeitung” under the title “Stadtblicke” [City Views] in quite irregular intervals. He had made the drawings in many different locations all over the capital. The then editor-in-chief, Michael Maier, intended to strengthen the element of drawing in the “Berliner Zeitung”, on the model of the Spanish daily “El País” Maier was familiar with Fritz Panzer’s large-format wire sculptures depicting concrete spatial situations and invited him to Berlin to develop an architecture-related series of drawings for his newspaper.

Through the editor’s request to deliver lively scenes also showing people instead of dead architecture, Panzer was confronted with a totally new artistic challenge, which he accepted in a way that was also productive for the further development of his sculptural work.
Thanks to their unconventional obstinacy and sculptural power, the drawings he created distinguish themselves in a most agreeable way from the usual monotony of photographic reporting in the daily press.

Eventually, Michael Maier’s and Fritz Panzer’s experiment failed because of the half-hearted editorial implementation. There was no willingness to support the new format of a city report series in drawing with the required regularity of appearance and placement, as well as a properly thought-out interplay of drawing and text commentary.

Fritz Panzer – “Stadtblicke”

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