For Artissima’s Back To the Future section, ChertLüdde proposed a solo presentation on Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt (b.1932, Wurzen).

Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt is a significant figure of the Mail Art Movement, in which she and her husband Robert Rehfeldt participated greatly during the time of the GDR. At the start of the 1970s, she began to develop her trademark typewriter graphics (Typewritings), works created on a typewriter which span visual architecture, linguistic puns, and innovative ways of subverting the censorship imposed on her at the time. Notably, Wolf-Rehfeldt stopped making art completely in 1989, with the fall of the Wall allowing for travel and unrestricted communication with the outside world.

Simultaneous to her prolific production of the ‘Typewritings’, Wolf-Rehfeldt amassed an extensive collection (now archive) of mail art that was sent to her from artists around the world. In return, she sent forth her ‘Typewritings’, each an edition of 50, the exact number of prints allowed to be made within the regime. ChertLüdde will display original Typewritings and collages that Wolf-Rehfeldt made with the prints, as well as a series of editions from the 1980s that are grouped by their destinations, namely correspondents residing in Italy.

Wolf-Rehfeldt’s work has been exhibited in Art Basel Feature, 2015; documenta14, Kassel, 2017; Malmö Konsthalle, 2017; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2018; and Albertinum Museum with David Horvitz, 2019.

Her work is in important public collections such as Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland; Collezione del premio Rotary Club Milano Brera per l’arte contemporanea e i giovani artisti; and Kunstfonds, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.


Photos by Andrea Rossetti