The shooting gallery
An imposing woman stands in a shooting gallery. With one hand on her side, her robust build and her dark eyes, it is difficult to ignore her. Two guns lie at the ready on the counter in front of her. A third gun lies next to them; probably it has just been fired at the cardboard figures behind the woman. These figures assume all sorts of amusing poses. Look, for example, at the man on the right who is taking a lion by the nose. The pipes are intended to be shot at, but they can also be interpreted as Freudian symbols for the male sex.
Koch produced this painting in 1931 and, taking into account the considerable interest at the time in Sigmund Freud's dream theory, it is not unlikely that Koch was aware of that symbolism.
Political turmoil, unemployment and increasing poverty characterised the years between the two world wars, the period in which Koch produced this painting. The dark colours, the cold light and the almost threatening attitude of the woman make this ominous time almost tangible in the painting.
Audio & Video