Otto Frello

By Birgitte Agersnap

01. Jan. 2006

On the occasion of the special exhibition "The Airship is Coming" Post & Tele Museum is showing detailed studies of airships and balloons made by the illustrator Otto Frello. With these we get very close to the gigantic and technical wonders.

With Otto Frello's line we are getting close to the objects. You can almost feel the structure of the distended balloon canvas in his drawing of the airship LZ5, 1909.


New Perspectives

It would be almost impossible to base a book about balloons and airships on photographs alone. First and foremost because photos of the earliest types do not exist, secondly because only few photos exist of the entire machine and the many technical details. It is impossible to get close to the airship once it is airborne. However, this does lucki-ly not apply to the illustrator. His strong point is that he can choose his perspective without considering realistic visual angles. Consequently, the illustrator can focus his eye and his pencil on details and re-produce them much sharper than any photograph. Thanks to the naturalistic accuracy and precise-ness of Otto Frello we are getting closer to the airships than we would ever be able to in real life.

"Level-Headed Sympathetic Insight"

Otto Frello (born 1924) qualified at "The Academy of Free and Commercial Art" in Copenhagen where he later became as well a teacher as the headmaster for many years. Thousands of students have benefited from his sharp powers of observation and craftsmanlike knowledge as have readers of Po-litiken's handbooks to which Frello contributed colourful illustrations for a number of years.

The airship Graf Zeppelin (LZ127, 1928).
Otto Frello's illustrations tells the story about bal-loons and airships from the first balloon voyage in 1783 to the crash of the zeppelin Hindenburg in 1937.  

The exhibited drawings are all made in tempera as illustrations to Politiken's handbook about "Bal-loons and Airships" written by the aviation historian Lennart Ege in 1973. They are based on studies of old drawings and descriptions of the first balloons, on countless hours of research into domestic and foreign archives, and not least the precise line of Otto Frello.

It is the special combination of both level-headed observation and insight, enthusiasm and zeal that characterizes the works of Otto Frello - be it either his illustrations or paintings. He reduces the dis-tance between us and the objects and often even renders invisible things visible.

The exhibition can be seen on the Balcony on 1st floor of the museum from 10th February to 6th August 2006.


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