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Exhibition -

Carolus - Ruhm und Ewigkeit

Carolus  - Ruhm und Ewigkeit

Exhibition overview:

11 Jun - 09 Jul 2011

TORCH gallery

TORCH is proud to present new works by Dutch painter Carolus Diederich (1929) under the title Ruhm und Ewigkeit. The opening will be on Saturday the 11th of June between 5 and 7pm, at the lauriergracht 94 in Amsterdam. In his work this 83-year old painter tries to bridge the gap between the inspired thoughts of the enlightenment and the banalities of his own life. On show will be all the extremities of his painted symbolism ranging from a devotional painting for Friedrich Nietzsche to a monochome depiction of a tennis ball.

Sponsored by Heineken


Ruhm und Ewigkeit is the title of a poem by Friedrich Nietzsche, written as the supposed closing piece for his Ecce Homo from 1889. This remarkably self-aware publication would be the last the influential German philosopher published before he became victim to insanity. In the poem Ruhm und Ewigkeit he fulminates against chasing fame, riches and misplaced pride. He emphasizes the necessity and eternal value of being as opposed to the short-lived madness of ambition and fame. Not many people are swayed by this kind of bloated 19th century rhetoric anymore, Carolus definitely is.


As a former owner of a bar in the infamous Zeedijk district in Amsterdam his carreer as a painter did not start until his 60th birthday. Now he will have his third solo-exhibition at TORCH. As a self-educated philosopher and painter he is well read in the work of thinkers such as Voltaire, Baudelaire and Brecht. In painting he follows his idols who range from Rothko to David and Picasso. The end result is a remarkable combination of folksy esthetics and an almost kitschy painterly technique with a monk-like devotion to his practice and pieces that express the great themes of mankind. The rope-walker featured in Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra literally falls of his rope in the work of Carolus. A rope that for Nietzsche signifies the tight balance between animal urges and the enlightened man, the Dionysian versus the Apollonian. Carolus to find a balance between urge and thought, within his daily life and within his work that is a direct extension of it.


He still paints everyday in his studio/home in the Friesian city of Workum. He only concerns himself with the act of painting and translating philosophical texts into his very individual symbolism. Painting is a goal in itself, and the resulting painting is nothing more than the residue of an creative action. The paintings on show at TORCH are often drenched in oil paint and are painted front to back on top of many, many predecessors.

After living in the less hospitable part of Amsterdam for several years Carolus has now grown tired with man. Nature he found to be unimaginably cruel from the start so it comes as no suprise that he barely leaves his home. Carolus will explicitly not be attending the opening of this exhibition.