Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
German Printmaking: Examples from 1904 - 1964
German Printmaking: Examples from 1904 - 1964
Georg Baselitz, Willi Baumeister, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, Erich Heckel, Gerhard Hoehme, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Käthe Kollwitz
As one of the leading galleries for German Expressionist prints and works on paper, the Berlin based Jörg Maass Kunsthandel presents an overview of German printmaking in the 20th century with a focus on the first decades, as a period dominated by the rise of Expressionism, while comparing it to tendencies after WW II.
The exhibition shows the wide diversity of German printmaking of that time but also the continuity within the German artistic tradition.
The protagonists shown in this presentation are some of the most important artists of the 20th century. All of them possessed a continued interest in different printing techniques and produced artworks of unprecedented originality and remarkable ambition.
Erich Heckel, Liegendes Kind, Drypoint and tonal etching, 1910 (Detail)
Nowhere can one get to know an artist better, than through his graphic art
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Kunsthandel Jörg Maass with Gerhard Hoehme "Die Zeitung"
Gerhard Hoehme, "Die Zeitung", Etching and collage, 1963
Erich Heckel, Liegendes Kind, Drypoint and tonal etching, 1910 (Detail)
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, near Bern, Switzerland, in 1879. He began his studies at Munich’s art academy in 1898, under Franz von Stuck. In 1911 he met Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and other expressionist artists and exhibited his work alongside the group „Der Blaue Reiter“ in 1912. In 1920 Walter Gropius invited him to teach at the Bauhaus in Weimar, and he moved there the following year. Klee left the Bauhaus in 1931 and assumed a professorship at Düsseldorf’s art academy, where he taught painting techniques. After the National Socialists seized power in 1933, he was dismissed from his duties and returned to Bern. His art was condemned by the National Socialists as “degenerate”, and 102 of his works were confiscated from public collections. Klee’s most productive year was 1939, in which he produced 1,253 works. A year later he died in Locarno-Muralto in Switzerland.
Käthe Kollwitz was born in 1867 in Königsberg, Prussia. She began drawing lessons at the age of 14 and attended the Berlin School of Art in 1884, later she continued her studies in Munich. In 1891 she married the doctor Karl Kollwitz, who settled in a working class area in north Berlin. Kollwitz used her art to rail against what she saw as horrible social conditions for Germany’s poor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She teached at the Berlin Female Artists School from 1898 to 1903. In 1904 she stayed in Paris and attended sculpting classes at the Académie Julian. In 1907 Käthe Kollwitz was awarded the Villa-Romana-Price and spent a year in Florence. Kollwitz lost her younger son on the battlefield in WW I in October 2014. The mourning over her son's death and the impressions of war, hardships, starvation and miseries can be found in her works up into the early 30s. Käthe Kollwitz was honored by becoming the first female member of the Prussian Academy of Arts in 1919 and was appointed professor, which also includes an own studio in the academy. She was forced to withdraw from the academy in 1933. In 1943 her Berlin studio was bombed out and she moved to the Rüdenhof near Schloss Moritzburg in 1944 where she died in 1945.
Erich Heckel was born in Döbeln in 1883. In 1904 Heckel began to study architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. One year later he joined up with fellow students Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff to found „Die Brücke“ (The Bridge) group of artists. Heckel initially focussed on various printing techniques, in particular, such as the woodcut, lithograph and etching. In 1911 Heckel moved to Berlin. Two years later „Die Brücke“ was disbanded. From 1915 until 1918 Heckel served as a medical orderly in Flanders and then returned to Berlin. Heckel spent most summers on the Flensburger Förde while his many travels took him to the Alps, Southern France, Northern Spain and Italy. In 1937, 729 of his works were removed from German museums and he was included in the „Degenerate Art“ exhibition. 1944 his studio in Berlin was destroyed in an air raid and a large number of his works were lost. He subsequently decided to settle in Hemmenhofen on Lake Contance and was appointed professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe in 1949. Erich Heckel died in Radolfzell on Lake Constance in 1970.
Lyonel Feininger was born in New York in 1871. In 1887 he moved to Germany and began taking classes at the Hamburg School of Applied Art and as of 1888 at the Berlin Academy. In 1889 he received his first commissions for caricatures from the journal Humoristische Blätter. In 1890, during a sojourn at the Collège Saint-Servais in Liège, Feininger’s interest in early architecture was awakened. In 1892/1893 he stayed for a longer period in Paris and studied at the Académie Colarossi. In 1909 he joined the Berlin Secession and two years later he was represented in the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in Paris, where he encounters cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Back in Germany, he came in contact with artists of the „Brücke“ and was asked to exhibit with the avant-garde „Blaue Reiter“ group. In 1919 Feininger was the first master appointed by Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus, where he taught until 1926. His art was proscribed by the National Socialists as “degenerate” in 1937, and 378 of his works were confiscated from German museums. Feininger emigrated to New York, where he died in 1956.
Otto Dix was born in Untermhaus near Gera in 1891. In 1910, he entered the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden. After serving in the First World War, he continued his studies at the Dresden Academy of Art from 1919 - 1922. In 1919 he became a founding member of the Dresden Secession group and participated in the first International Dada Fair in Berlin a year later. After stations in Düsseldorf and Berlin, Dix taught at the Dresden Academy of Art from 1927 to 1933. Alongside the well-known paintings, such as „Der Schützengraben” (The Trench) and the triptych „Großstadt” (Metropolis), he created watercolours and prints that are particularly critical of wartime atrocities and of social injustice. He adopted the glazing technique of medieval masters, which he utilised in paintings of landscapes and themes related to Christian iconography during the Nazi period, when his work was classified as degenerate. From 1936 onwards, the artist lived in Hemmenhofen, on the shores of Lake Constance. After the Second World War, Otto Dix once again turned to a free and expressive style of painting. Dix died in 1969 in Singen, Germany.
Max Beckmann was born in 1884 in Leipzig. In 1900 he began the study of painting in Weimar’s art academy, from which he graduated with numerous honours. In 1907, after sojourns in Paris, Geneva and Florence, he settled in Berlin, where he joined the Secession. In the First World War Beckmann was a volunteer medical aide. His experiences were to have a lasting effect on his work, and led him to adopt an Expressionist style close to that of the „Neue Sachlichkeit“ (New Objectivity). From 1915 to 1933 he stayed in Frankfurt am Main and taught classes at the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1937 he emigrated to Holland, and then in 1948 to the United States. He taught in New York at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and in 1950 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Washington University in St Louis. He died in New York in 1950.
Kandinsky was born in 1866 in Moscow. After studying law and economics in Moscow he decided to become a painter and moved to Munich in 1896. He began studying at Anton Ažbe's art school, then went to Franz von Stuck and finally completed his studies at the Munich Kunstakademie. As early as 1902 he was already teaching at the Phalanx-Malschule and soon became the president of the artist group. Kandinsky was one of the founding members of the „Neue Künstlervereinigung“ in 1909, and one year later, he made his first purely abstract watercolour. This revolutionary step towards abstraction was justified in his book „Über das Geistige in der Kunst“ which Kandinsky published in 1912. Together with his artist friends Paul Klee, August Macke and Franz Marc, Kandinsky founded the „Blauer Reiter“ in 1912 and published the almanac with the same name together with Marc. Kandinsky spent the years of WW I in Moscow, but returned to Germany in 1921. Walter Gropius invited him to teach at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1922, where he stayed until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944.
Willi Baumeister was born in Stuttgart in 1889. Beginning in 1909 he studied under Oskar Schlemmer and others at the city’s art academy. In 1913 he participated in Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (First German Autumn Salon) at the gallery Der Sturm in Berlin, and in the following year he produced four murals for the main hall of the Cologne Werkbund exhibition. In 1928 he was given a teaching post at the Städelsche Kunstschule in Frankfurt. In 1932 he participated in Paul Cassirer’s „Lebendige deutsche Kunst“. In 1937 Baumeister’s paintings were proscribed and included in the exhibition „Degenerate Art“. Baumeister stored more than sixty pictures in Switzerland to keep them out of the hands of the National Socialists. In 1941 he was banned from exhibiting his work. In 1946 he received an appointment at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart and in 1950 he took part in the Darmstädter Gespräche on the defence of modern art. He died in Stuttgart in 1955.
Gerhard Hoehme was born in 1920 in Greppin, near Dessau, Germany. He served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War. In 1948 Hoehme began studying graphics at the Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichstein near Halle an der Saale. In 1951 he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied from 1952 onwards at the art academy. The German art historian Jean-Pierre Wilhelm introduced him to Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, the most important artists of Informel in Paris. In the 1950s Hoehme was a leading representative of Art Informel in Germany. He helped J.-P Wilhelm found his „Galerie 22“ in 1957, a gallery which existed until 1960 and which was a lively forum for Informel artists, musicians and writers. Hoehme joined the „Lyrische Abstraktion“ in 1955 and became a leading member of the Düsseldorf artist association „Gruppe 53“ in 1957. Hoehme was invited to exhibit at the „documenta II“ in Kassel in 1959 and was awarded the Villa-Massimo-Prize in 1960. From 1960 to 1984 he taught at Düsseldorf’s art academy. Hoehme died in Neuss in 1989.
Born Hans-Georg Kern in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, Baselitz renamed himself after his hometown in 1961. From 1956-57 he studied at East Berlin’s Hochschule für Bildende und Angewandte Kunst and then relocated to West Berlin, where he attended the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, until 1964. Baselitz works not only in the medium of painting but also in drawing, sculpture and printmaking. His pictures range from a suggested figuration to informal gestural painting. In 1969 he began turning his subjects upside down, so as to force viewers to concentrate on the picture rather than its content. Since 1980 he has created expressive, rough-hewn wood sculptures to which he applies colour accents. His works can be seen in international and national public collections.