Wolfgang Lettl painted "The Outcry" in June of 1989 at his second home in Puglia. It is a further development of the painting "Prometheus" from the Grey Series.

The massive clay torso, its ungainly hands stretched imploringly upwards and its face distorted with pain, is striking. The chest area has ruptured, a white bird is fluttering out. The three bars inside the torso convey the impression of a cage or lock-up.

The torso finds itself on the shore of a body of water with several boats, each occupied by one person. The people kneeling or sitting in the boats are wearing black blindfolds and are busy calming the waters. The sky is dark and threatening.

So far the description of the painting.

Against the background of contemporary history this painting may be seen in the context of the turnaround, the peaceful revolution, and the end of the German Democratic Republic.

The torso began to crumble from the inside because the people were yearning for freedom. With the symbolic cutting of the Hungarian barbed wire fence by the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Gyula Horn, and his Austrian counterpart, Alois Mock, on June 27, the wall had suddenly become permeable. A massive emigration movement by GDR citizens via Hungary and Checoslovakia followed in early July.

How blind the senior government was and how it attempted to keep the seas calm becomes very clear on October 7, 1989, the "Day of the Republic" and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the GDR.

For the last time, Erich Honecker staged the ususal anniversary celebrations and festivals in Berlin, but the citizens had stopped identifying with party ideology. There were numerous counter-demonstrations which the government attempted to repress by force.

The last window bars finally broke on November 9, 1989, with the fall of the wall.


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