Spotlight: Otto Eglau (German; 1917-1988), New York-Planned Disorder, 1967

Otto Eglau (German; 1917-1988), New York-Planned Disorder, 1967. Etching (Edition: 188/200), 22 1/4 in x 18 1/8 inches, Franco Collection, Auburn University at Montgomery.

Catalogue entry by Rashade Wilson

Otto Eglau is a German painter, born in 1917, “whose prints and paintings deconstruct scenes taken from aerial views.” (“Otto Eglau, Artnet”) Eglau’s work was based upon striking graphic fragments. His works are influenced by his military service and captivity; he served in the German Army during World War II. After the War, he studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin under painters such as Oskar Nerlinger and Max Kaus. His style was based upon free painting and drawing. His career was influenced by his traveling the world by sea and teaching at the Technical University of Berlin. You can find his work in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Brooklyn Museum.

For this discussion, I decided to select his 1967 piece “New York – Planned Disorder.” The medium used to create this work was etching, dry point and aquatint printed in color on ivory wove paper. The dimensions are 19 5/8 x 15 1/2 inches. The print shows New York City. The structure of the buildings are well put together. It gives you the feeling of a cloudy day in New York City, where there is possibly rain also. All of his works of art have one thing in common: they all are based upon cityscapes filled with buildings, like this.


“Otto Eglau,”

“Otto Eglau,”

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