CHRISTIAN HOHMANN | FINE ART 73-660 El Paseo Palm Desert, CA 92260
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COVER IMAGES FRONT 23. | “Eleanor Duse II” Acrylic on Canvas | 39.5” x 31” | 2004 BACK 115. | “Annunciation” Mixed Media on Paper | 40.5” x 27” | 2010
IMPRESSUM © Christian Hohmann Fine Art, Inc. 1st Edition 2011: 1,500 exemplars Any reproduction or use of text or image material in part or in full is only allowed with the written consent of Christian Hohmann Fine Art, Inc. Measurements are approximate and may vary, please contact gallery if you require the exact size.
Image to the right: 1. | “For Your Mamsell Daughter” | Mixed Media on Paper | 18” x 4” | 1998
EBERHARD HÜCKSTÄDT Seventyfive - A Retrospective
2. | “Two” Acrylic on Canvas 63” x 39.5” | 2003
EBERHARD HÜCKSTÄDT In honor of Eberhard Hückstädt’s seventy-fifth birthday, Christian Hohmann Fine Art presents a retrospective of the German artist’s work. Hückstädt’s childhood was steeped in the proximity of war, which compelled his family to flee from an idyllic landscape in Potsdam and settle in Northern Germany. Further raised by his grandparents, the artist enjoyed a happy upbringing. It was there that at age 14 he began his artistic training; one which was perpetually tempered by the young man’s own vision combined with the formal direction he was privileged to receive later at the prestigious Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. Hückstädt’s voice is one in which meticulously constructed grounds of color and wash mingle with collage elements mostly in the form of old paper, historical documents, and other ephemera, transformed into a complex foundation. Upon this base, he then creates beautiful works, which marry a fervent, loose and animated line with hue-rich contours mixing medium and material forever resistant to literal, realistic form. His paintings are like playgrounds where watercolors dry around varying thicknesses of charcoal black and matte surfaces cohabitate with fresco-like texture. An assortment of inspirations, intuitive and liberated, share space on the same slate. Thus each piece breathes with a sense of raw energy and movement that evokes a final and elegant moment. Whether exploring the personalities of legendary cultural influences, reflecting upon the serenity in landscapes, observing the authenticity in a floral still life, or magnificently portraying the nude form, his pieces expresses a singular and signature aesthetic. We are proud to share the artist’s comprehensive body of work this one last time.
Born in Potsdam Germany
as child lives through WWII bombings
living with grandparents, absolves primary education
continued education and apprenticeship in applied arts participates in restoration of churches throughout East Germany
College of applied arts in Heiligendamm
College of fine arts in Dresden/special interest in mural and panel painting
relocates in Schwedt/participation in group exhibition of artist’s
association with immediate success-his paintings are acquired by
the State Gallery for emerging art/Frankfurt.
skyrocketing career –participates in all major exhibitions-numerous single exhibitions – wins many important awards and prizes.
Works mostly in oil on canvas and drawings.
Marriage to Gina Gass – moves to Berlin.
Berlin Albertinum Museum acquires his work.
While enjoying great success as a professional artist, traveling and
studying throughout the Soviet Union , Eberhard struggles with oppression and control of the communist system. He discovers that a massive file is being accumulated marking him as a dissident
Makes his way to the West leaving behind his entire body of work as well as material possessions.
Settling his family in West Germany starting a new life and career. His work enjoys immediate success and his reputation quickly spreads throughout Central Europe. His works are shown in many single and group exhibitions.
Fifteen years after the Reunion of East and West Germany, the government releases the remaining paintings that the communistic government seized upon his leaving. To this day Hückstädt keeps these works on lock down.
On the occasion of his 75th birthday the artist announces his retirement from the commercial art world. Christian Hohmann Fine Art in Palm Desert, U.S.A. and Galerie Hohmann, Walsrode, Germany exhibit Hückstädt’s oeuvre with two final exhibitions and pay tribute to this surpassing Master.
3. | “Wunderkinder “ | Acrylic on Canvas | Triptych | 67” x 113” | 2006
4. | “Sissy” | Acrylic on Canvas | Triptych | 67” x 117” | 2006
5. | “Pushkin’s Demons” | Acrylic on Canvas | Triptych | 57” x 99” | 2004
Cultural icons in the fields of music, literature and theater have always held a prominent influence in the artist’s life. Greats such as Mozart, Bach and Haendel have accompanied Hückstädt during many of his moments in the studio as a background companion to his own creativity and existence. These prominent people with their lives of greatness have always fascinated him and in an attempt to understand them further, he’s oftentimes paints them from the depths of his own mind’s eye when mentally exploring what constituted their legendary personae. This has resulted in a strong body of portraits in which historical masters of our common creative psyche are presented with significance and wonder.
With intensity evoked through the expression of the eyes, his “Portrait of Mozart” shows us the inquisitive and ever-curious gaze of the impresario musician in direct juxtaposition to another of a serious and darkened feminine seduction showcased in his “Portrait of Marlene.” Color and tonality are equal means of highlighting character traits such as the warm and welcoming green hues in his portrayal of storyteller Hans Christian Andersen or the tumultuous and shadowy blacks and reds in his side profile study of French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz. All of the aforementioned characteristics combine on his masterpiece “Annamaria (Fellini’s Faces)” wherein we find half of the face softened by shadow and a vulnerable stare while the other haughtily questions the viewer bathed in rust and gold; revealing two exquisite sides of the prototypically mysterious ingénue. In still others, Hückstädt presents ordinary models and burgeoning talents upon his slate, exploring the personalities of each with keen insight into what makes them individually memorable.
6. | “Annamaria (Fellini’s Faces)” | Acrylic on Canvas | 33.5” x 27.5” | 2010
7. | “Portrait Of Mozart” | Mixed Media on Paper | 40.5” x 30.5” | 2000
8. | “Portrait Of Eleanor Duse” | Mixed Media on Paper | 28” x 16” | 2002 17
9. | “Portrait of Marlene” | Acrylic on Canvas | 31.5” x 23” | 2004
10. | “Backlighting (Portrait of Marlene)”| Acrylic on Canvas | 27.5” x 23.5” | 2004
11. | “Pushkin” Acrylic on Canvas 43.5” x 35.5” | 2004
13. | “Portrait of Hans Christian Andersen” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20” | 2000
12. | “Portrait Of Berlioz” Mixed Media on Paper 41” x 31” | 1995
14. | “Bodelaire” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20.25” | 1999
16. | “Portrait Of Adam Mickiewicz” Mixed Media on Paper 27.5” x 16” | 2000
15. | “Portrait Of Gogol” Mixed Media on Paper 26” x 16” | 2006
17. | “Schubertiade I” Mixed Media on Canvas 67” x 29.5” | 2006
18. | “Schubertiade II” Mixed Media on Canvas 67” x 29.5” | 2006
19. | “Young Model” Acrylic on Canvas 39.5” x 27.5” | 2003
20. | “Portrait Of Anna Achmatowa” Mixed Media on Paper 26” x 17” | 2000
21. | “Portrait Of Johann Sebastian Bach” Mixed Media on Paper 41” x 31” | 2000
22. | “Portrait of Johann S. Bach” Mixed Media on Paper 30” x 22” | 2000
23. | “Eleanor Duse II” | Acrylic on Canvas | 39.5” x 31” | 2004
24. | “Kafka” Mixed Media on Paper 39.5” x 27” | 2009
25. | “Wolfgang Amadeus” Mixed Media on Paper 19” x 10” | 1988
26. | “Haendel” Mixed Media on Paper 39” x 27” | 2009
27. | “Mozart” Mixed Media on Paper 39.5” x 27.5” | 1998
In his early days, while studying at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Hückstädt was a participant in the renowned evening nude drawing classes, led with a strict direction towards realism, that were attended by famous and emerging artists alike.
The artist contained this training in his mind but followed his own heart’s renegade observer when creating his own human forms. In his practice, he did what all great artists do, broadly following his own internal impetus which begged the artist to let loose the forces of moment, chaos, presence and sensuality into shadings, outline and textures straining to burst from the conformities of staid tradition. This resulted in a clearly discernable voice in his nudes, aesthetically based upon his own keen translation and presented in breathtaking fashion. Since then his personal articulation of the nude form has been one of showcasing the human figure as its own mysterious landscape with each bodily terrain expressed as a reflection of multiple senses, not just the eyes. His signature living line, caressing and animating the curves of the flesh, brings forth an expressive topography favored over the lifelessness of traditionally perfected curvature. The artist abandoned his nude studies for a decade and a half for other artistic subjects but was reinvigorated with inspiration upon falling in love with his wife who became his perpetual muse. Later work in this vein engaged a new look at the decomposition of figure and an emphasis on expression.
29. | “Nude Before Pink Rectangle” Mixed Media on Paper 13” x 9” | 2006
28. | “Two with Signet” Mixed Media on Paper 13” x 9” | 2005
30. | “Dance” | Acrylic on Canvas | 55” x 35” | 2006
31. | “Dancing” Acrylic on Canvas 51” x 25.5” | 2004
32. | “Pas De Deux” Acrylic on Canvas 51” x 25.5” | 2004
33. | “Before Red” Acrylic on Canvas 51” x 25.5” | 2006
34. | “Two Before Red” Acrylic on Canvas 57” x 25.5” | 2004
35. | “Three Nudes” | Acrylic on Canvas | 37.5” x 57” | 2010
36. | “Reclining on White” | Mixed Media on Paper | 21.5” x 31” | 2010
37. | “Reclining With Blue Glove” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20.5” x 31.5” | 2006
38. | “Reclining on Black Red” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20” x 31” | 2007
39. | “Reclining on Blue Grey” | Mixed Media on Paper | 21.5” x 31” | 2010
40. | “Titania I” | Mixed Media on Paper | 44” x 30” | 2002
41. | “Titania II” | Mixed Media on Paper | 44” x 30” | 2002
42. | “Nude from Back before Light Grey” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 21.5” | 2010
43. | “Nude from Back Before Red” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 19” | 2006
44. | “Nude from Back before Amber” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 21.5” | 2010
45. | “Nude from Back with Bent Head” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 21.5” | 2010
46. | “Nude Before Red Green” | Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 21” | 1993
47. | “Soft Embrace” | Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 1997
48. | “Leaning Against The Hill Forever, The White Night” | Mixed Media on Paper | 28” x 33.5” | 1994
49. | “Dancing Figure” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2001 51. | “Small Nude Before Blue” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2000
50. | “Leda” Mixed Media on Paper 14” x 8” | 2001
52. | “Erotic Scene” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2002
53. | “Medea” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2003
56. | “Reclining Nude II” Mixed Media on Paper 11” x 14” | 2007
54. | “Small Nude from Back” Mixed Media on Paper 10” x 6” | 2006
55. | “Reclining Nude I” Mixed Media on Paper 11” x 15” | 2007
57. | “Movement” Mixed Media on Paper 11” x 15” | 2007
58. | “Nude with Green Hair” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2005
59. | “Small Reclining” Mixed Media on Paper 6” x 10” | 2006
61. | “Small Striding” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2006
60. | “Moved” Mixed Media on Paper 14” x 9” | 2006
62. | “Small Nude” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2006
63. | “Small Reclining” Mixed Media on Paper 6” x 10” | 2006
64. | “Time Is Running Out” | Mixed Media on Canvas | 53” x 28” | 2006
65. | “Nude with White Cloth” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 6.5” | 2011
66. | “Undressing” Mixed Media on Paper 12” x 6” | 2011
67. | “Reclining with Striped Jersey” Mixed Media on Paper 6.5” x 12” | 2011
68. | “Nude from Back with White Cloth II” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2007
69. | “Nude from Back with Grey Cloth” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2008
70. | “Nude from Back with Bow in Her Hair” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2011
71. | “Nude before Light Grey” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2009
72. | “Movement” | Mixed Media on Paper | 22.5” x 31” | 2007
73. | “Reclining before Antique Pink” | Mixed Media on Paper | 22.5” x 31” | 2007
74. | “Three” | Mixed Media on Canvas | 57” x 37” | 2006
75. | “Nude with Bowed Head” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20.5” | 2007
76. | “Nude from Back with White Cloth” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20.5” | 2010
Hückstädt’s landscapes, much like his nudes, present a loosely defined realism as if submerged underwater in the subconscious world of dreams. Emotional hues and diaphanous washes fill the space of his canvas as if intuitively placed from the annals of memory and nostalgia.
An almost folkloric simplicity allows the hills, rivers, trees and other elements of the environment to float ethereally on planes where the division between sky and land or water and flora blur.
77. | “At the Lake” | Mixed Media on Paper | 14” x 24” | 1999
Vast and open, his environments are drenched in Germany’s characteristic deep browns and ochre’s. Spatial perspective and tone enhance his transparencies while light and glimmers of intuitive line mark the artist’s signature touches upon these cherished familiar places.
78. | “Holstein Landscape” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20” x 30” | 2002
79. | “Cliff Line With Gathering Thunder” | Acrylic on Canvas | 31.5” x 43.5 | 2003
80. | “Evening” | Acrylic on Canvas | 31” x 43” | 2003
81. | “Oberdorf In Snow” | Mixed Media on Paper | 22” x 29.5” | 1999
82. | “Memories Of O.” | Mixed Media on Paper | 21.5” x 30” | 1999
83. | “Lakeshore With Willows” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20” x 32” | 1998
84. | “Changing Light” | Mixed Media on Paper | 10.5” x 15.25” | 1999
85. | “Breaching Sun” | Mixed Media on Paper | 17” x 25” | 2008
86. | “September Sun” | Mixed Media on Paper | 17” x 25” | 2009
87. | “Clearing Sky” | Mixed Media on Paper | 17” x 25” | 2008
88. | “Polder with Large Cloud” | Mixed Media on Paper | 17” x 25” | 2009
Hückstädt’s still life paintings perfectly represent the common relationship between man and his floral subjects in that they remind us of the realities within the cycle of existence inherent to all living things. His exquisite renditions of flowers, oftentimes poised at the moment of transition from life’s peak to impending mortality, provoke reflection upon the fact that “being” is limited. In the realm of that “being,” the authentic presence of the universal fade, post-bloom, rises to the surface. This is rendered in lush arrangements full of a tainted grace where once bright petals begin their descent towards brown and vibrancy is replaced with the crisp aridity of maturity and age.
All things come to an end and in these works the viewer is reminded of the fragility, sublime beauty and fleeting tide of life simultaneously, illustrated through the traditional metaphor of nature.
89. | “Roses In Milk Pitcher” Mixed Media on Paper | 15” x 9” | 2010
90. | “Large Still Life” | Mixed Media on Canvas | 35.25” x 43.25” | 2001
91. | “Still-life with Blue Jug” | Mixed Media on Canvas | 31.5” x 39.5” | 2003
92. | “Chrysanthemum In Art Nouveau” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20.5” | 2002
93. | “Fall Bouquet” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20.5” | 2002
94. | “Still-life In Antique Pottery” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20” x 31” | 2000
95. | “Flowers In White Bowl” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20.5” x 31” | 2002
96. | “Large Bouquet” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20” | 2002
97. | “Amaryllis In White Vase” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20” | 2000
98. | “Pointsettia” Mixed Media on Paper 31” x 20” | 2002
99. | “Large Summer Bouquet” Mixed Media on Paper 30.5” x 20” | 2001
100. | “Bouquet in Blue-White Jug” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2011
101. | “In Blue-White Jug” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2011
102. | “Bouquet before Indigo” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2007
103. | “Still-life Yellow Violet” Mixed Media on Paper | 31” x 20.5” | 2011
104. | “Still-life in White Bowl I” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20.5” x 31” | 2011
105. | “Still-life in White Bowl II” | Mixed Media on Paper | 20.5” x 31” | 2011
Amidst the vast plains of serious contemplation that inform most of Hückstädt’s work lies a humorous side glimpsed rarely yet representing his unique brand of intellectual irony.
The artist’s great affinity for the 19th century and its distinct idiosyncrasies can be seen in his paintings of life and people of the times. He created many works in homage to the era’s mythologies and familiar adages as he observed the styles and trends of the day. For example, in one of his paintings where a contemporary version of Athena is shunned by Paris after he gives the apple to Aphrodite, or another where a rather forwardly-presented Leda and the Swan, are told through whimsical characters. These works furthermore show the artist’s intense engagement with the world around him; one in which he was constantly observing, reflecting, dialoguing and reacting to from within the confines of his creative soul.
106. | “Athena shunned by Paris” Mixed Media on Paper 13” x 7” | 2004
107. | “Two Landowners” Mixed Media on Paper 14” x 9” | 2011
109. | “Marja Antonowna” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 8” | 2011
108. | “Andrejwna” Mixed Media on Paper 14” x 9” | 2011
110. | “Fate” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 8” | 2004
111. | “City Captain” Mixed Media on Paper 14” x 9” | 2011
113. | “District Judge” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 8” | 2011
112. | “Chlestakow” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 9” | 2011
114. | “Postmaster” Mixed Media on Paper 13.5” x 9” | 2011
A text about the artist Eberhard Hückstädt written by his friend and fellow painter Claus Hänsel The Journey What does one know about oneself? Probably not much. What does one know about the other? Even if he’s a friend? Surely even less. Can the experiment of writing about another artist be successful? Can one really tell of him, report on his art? It will remain an experiment. But one undertaken with delight.
I have my doubts whether it is possible to translate the German verb “SCHUMMERN” into English, whether there is a semantic correspondence. Probably not. In German this word is used colloquially. And usually only by artists. “Schummern” means a certain kind of drawing or painting which, among academic painters, has a less than favorable reputation. Actually, in the visual arts, this word refers to a questionable way of working , of blurring edges and shapes, for the purpose of feigning a nonexistent mastery, of which really only the unpracticed amateur would avail himself. In music one might perhaps say: “That tone wasn’t played clearly, it was a little smudged.” I am referring here to an anecdote with which Eberhard Hückstädt liked to entertain his painter colleagues on various occasions. The story goes like this: One of Hückstädt’s professors at the Art Academy of Dresden once summarized his corrections of Hückstädt’s nude drawing as follows: “You know what you need to do, Hückstädt, you need to “schummer” just like Renoir. This was a dubious recommendation for an art teacher to make, and indeed the humorous professor took it back at Hückstädt next consultation appointment with the words, “You know what, Hückstädt, you better not “schummern” anymore.” Of course there is much truth in this anecdote, for to draw like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, that was something
only Renoir himself could do. To apostrophize Renoir’s mastery of drawing with the word “schummern” was, of course, shooting past the target. The leading museums of the world include Renoir’s works in their collections. The great and excellent Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the railway station Gare d’Orsay converted into a museum, a showpiece of historicizing station architecture from the late 1800s, possesses in its fabulous section of Impressionist art some wonderful works by Renoir. Among them are those airy, flowerlight nudes “Les Baigneuses” - the “Bathers”. The artist, who suffered from arthritis, painted them at an advanced age in Cagnes-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. They are unique masterpieces in the history of nude painting. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Eberhard Hückstädt ‘s path does not start at the Academy. His life starts in Potsdam. In this city he arrived. Potsdam was the royal residence of Prussia and its King Frederick II, who went down in history as “the Great”. Here this art-loving sovereign had his architect, Knobelsdorff, build “Sanssouci”, summer residence and pleasure palace, a monumental structure of Absolutism. In addition, the king himself created an exemplary political system and, as an adjunct, a great army. Ever since, Prussian has often been equated with “German”. But the virtually unique beauty of this city surrounded by lakes and forests, which inserts itself in such a spectacular way into the Brandenburg landscape - though situated so close to the gates of Berlin - this beauty did not become a childhood idyll for Eberhard Hückstädt. Deutschland was waging war, and soon half the world was in flames. When the war returned, it also hit Potsdam: destruction, misery, hunger. His family flees to his grandparents in northern Germany, in a small town near Stralsund.
Arrived. Now, for Eberhard Hückstädt, a happy childhood begins. Despite the poverty brought on by the lost war. He says his childhood was “sheltered”. His grandparents transmitted love, goodness and tolerance. Eberhard Hückstädt sees his own childhood mirrored in the words of Astrid Lindgren, the world-famous Swedish children’s author: “We had security and we had freedom. And that was enough.” Hückstädt became an apprentice. Received a training in the painter’s trade that was solid, thorough,
traditional. This came in very useful in successive periods of his life. As a journeyman, Hückstädt worked on largescale commissions for restorations of sacred and secular historical buildings. In the 1950s, he embarked on his first round of higher education: at a technical school for applied arts. Here, too, was his first encounter with nude drawing, first attempts, first success. He is advised to study at an academy. And so Hückstädt goes to Dresden. To the renowned Academy of Fine Arts.
Arrived. In Dresden, before the war, such outstanding artists as Oskar Kokoschka and Otto Dix were professors at the academy. Models for great painting. History favored Dresden. It blessed the city with an ensemble of historical solitary structures. Of particular note are the “Zwinger” of the Saxon master builder Daniel Pöppelmann, the Catholic Court Church by the Italian Chiavari, or the world-famous Church of Our Lady by George Bähr. It became a monument to the destruction of the city. Now it is in the process of being reconstructed. The city’s situation on the river Elbe (cities located on rivers have, so to speak, a “natural advantage”) allowed a unique architectural silhouette to emerge. The Venetian Bernardo Bellotto, known as Canaletto, painter at the Saxon court from 1747 to 1766, a master of architectural perspectives, has transmitted the beauty of this city to us in a series of marvelous views. Dresden’s “Akademie auf der Bruhlschen Terrasse” had emerged from the Royal Art Academy. In the late 1800s it had been renovated by the architect Constantin Lipsius into a modern structure typical of its time, in the style of his controversial historicizing eclecticism, reflecting a tradition conscious architectural aesthetic of the turn of the century. The structure was not free of monstrosity in the opulent ornamental and pictorial program of its facade, but at the same time it was also highly functional in its provision of generous workrooms and sky lit studios. To give the American reader a visual impression, a comparison could be made with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which was built at about the same time (1879 to 1898). But what city did Eberhard Hückstädt find when he arrived there at the end of the 1950s? Dresden’s historical city center was destroyed, irretrievably! “Dresden, City of Art”, as it had admiringly been called, no longer existed. Or hardly. Like Coventry and Warsaw, the city
became a symbol of senseless destruction. Eberhard Hückstädt saw a city cleared of ruins, but not yet reconstructed. Germany had started a war, and it had lost this war. America brought democracy to Germany by decree - by itself Germany probably would not have found this path. The Germans have reason to be grateful. At the Academy, the study of the human figure was at the forefront of all endeavor, based on the old traditions - drawing and painting from a model. Semester after semester, with increasing levels of difficulty. The high level achieved by artist anatomy at the Dresden Academy gave those who studied here an advantage over students from other art academies. In his autobiographic sketch “The Balcony of Europe” , Hückstädt himself made an illuminating reference to his training in Dresden. Although due to ideological reservations vis-à-vis the so-called bourgeois art of the West, his studies had been dogmatically restricted to a strict concept of realism, Eberhard Hückstädt gained a rich enough abundance of knowledge to be able to undertake a successful path as an artist. This path was also a rocky one. Whether this was due to his own subjective experience in the form of self-doubt, which no artist may evade, or whether it was obstructing external factors that seemingly hampered his striving for perfection: This is of little importance for a retrospective assessment. I met Eberhard Hückstädt there at the Academy in Dresden. Or, it would be more correct to say: I saw him there. We were in different years, belonged to different classes in different departments. He left the Academy when I still had a significant portion of my studies ahead of me. But the eastern part of Germany where we lived, and whose administration did not permit travelling abroad, was after all, too small for us to lose sight of each other for long. The likelihood of meeting again was great. And again it was in a city on a river where we met: Schwedt on the Oder, at the border to Poland.
Eberhard Hückstädt had arrived. Originally, this city on the Oder had been sleepy provincial and garrison town which over time had fallen into oblivion. Likewise, there was little left of the tobacco cultivation that the Huguenots who had fled from France had brought with them to Protestant Prussia. But then the town experienced an unexpected renaissance: the petroleum industry. This offered opportunities to anyone looking for jobs and housing. Even to artists. The politicians’
goal was to provide newly created industrial regions with culture. Commission programs were developed for artists. During the Great Depression in the United States, President Roosevelt implemented his New Deal, which included artists in its works. The policy of the New Deal can be somewhat compared to the later situation in East Germany. Eberhard Hückstädt took advantage of the opportunity to find living and working space in Schwedt. This period of his life ended up lasting two decades.
the Musée d’Orsay, Velazquez at the Prado, Gainsborough and Turner at the Tate Gallery, Georgia O’Keefe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Never the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty? Never in one’s life, the first half of which is already past? A high price! Too high a price. It cannot be paid . So, go away! From Germany to Germany. At any cost! Happiness. In divided Germany - on the other side.
In retrospect, it is possible to state with some certainty that during the time of his activity there in the town on the Oder, Hückstädt gradually acquired a new experience. It was decisive, and it was extensive: Hückstädt’s emerging interest in landscapes. He became aware of the need to take on nature as a theme that was just as essential to him as the human figure had been since the time of his studies. Or, to be more precise: the image of man. The Brandenburg March has extensive landscapes of extraordinary beauty. There is, for example, the wide glacial valley of the Oder, where the river used to meander freely before regulations put a curb on its natural flow. A large national park protects flora and fauna. The Ice Age shaped the topographical features of the Brandenburg March. Hills, lakes, and more lakes, extended deciduous and evergreen forests, vast expanses of cropland. There are 200-year-old chestnut lanes, and oak groves that are far older. The German writer Theodor Fontane (1819 to 1898) describes this landscape in a report of his travels there “Wanderung durch die Mark”, thus creating a literary monument to this region. American readers may be helped by a comparison: On the East Coast, in Vermont, or Maine, or even in Pennsylvania, it is certainly possible to find landscapes similar to those of the Brandenburg March. But what good, what use is the most beautiful landscape if the State has no regard for democracy! Who likes to drink wine if it tastes of cork? Bad wine you can pour away. But what do you do with an undemocratic homeland? Leave it! Turn your back on it, even it makes the heart bleed out of a very fine wound.
The Wall in Berlin was probably the unsightliest example of architecture ever made by human hand in all of civilization. Above all, however, it was the most unnecessary. In the meantime, history has corrected this. Once again, with the help of America. The Berlin Wall robbed people of their freedom. But for an artist, freedom of movement means air to breathe. An artist must be able to travel, he must be able to see other countries, other cities. Never to be allowed to see an Ingres at the Louvre, Courbet at
A little later we met again. For I too embarked on this path. Our friendship had the opportunity of continuation. Now, in democracy - wished for, longed for - we had to learn to look here for our opportunities as artists. We succeeded, in different ways, specific to each of us. Eberhard Hückstädt’s art unfolded with a great deal of energy. This occurred in three large thematic areas. Or actually, in four. I will enumerate them individually: First, the human figure, with a particular focus on its nude form . Second, the landscape, nature as a life space with the power to regenerate man. Third, the still life, that genre that allows man to be present even in his absence. And fourth, the portraits of great personalities of our European culture imaginary and concrete at the same time, invention and fact in one. I describe them in the following.
Nude painting. Our occidental philosophy and, emerging there from, science, are rooted in the classical antiquity of Greece. It is the starting point of the cultural history of our civilization. Posing he question of being (or not-being) also meant asking: What is man, who is man? (We are still reflecting on this today!) Artists took up this question and sought answers. And found them! Out of the contradictoriness of being, of social processes and their immanent antagonisms, the ancient Greeks shaped for us an image of man displaying idealized dimensions. This became an example and a point of reference for us, and it remained our orientation for more than two thousand years of art history. The Greek image of man, aesthetically measured and idealized in the formal canon, became the ethical building block for art. Rome, the Renaissance, following on the heels of the Middle Ages, all subsequent stylistic periods alternating Apollonian severity and Dionysian expansiveness, form a continuum. It is our foundation. Our
built-up environment, the urban ensembles, the solitary monumental and prestige structures are comprehensively organized around the conventions of tracery and tradition. From Vitruvius to Palladian Classicism, which influenced all of European architecture. By this we have been formed; it is thus that we judge history aesthetically. With the Modern Age came the rupture, or, in the words of the writer Max Frisch: “One cannot change the human scale, one can only depart from it.” Eberhard Hückstädt’s nude paintings make obeisance to beauty. They are a homage to the female body. They are a profession of sensuality. The body of woman becomes a symbol of life - “L’Origine du monde”, as Gustave Courbet (1819 to 1877) calls his famous nude in Paris’s Musée d’Orsay. Hückstädt is embedded in this continuum of art history. Whenever we encounter the nude in painting, whenever the artist took the nude as his theme, for whatever reason, be it allegorical or religious - the beauty of the female body was the impetus. On which examples does Eberhard Hückstädt’s base his work? Are they to be found in Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, or in the small bronze Aphrodite from the 2nd century B.C., as can be admired in the Greek section of the Louvre? Or in Francois Boucher? Or should we look for them, instead, in Henri Matisse? Do such deliberations make any sense? Yes, one could answer. No, one could answer equally well. The singular, the unique thing about Hückstädt ‘s nudes is what we should look for, find out, in comparison with a phalanx of masterpieces of art history.
The Landscapes. We know the landscape is a genre since the Renaissance - idealized, illustrative, required as a background for depicted events. The landscape attains early worth of its own in Germany, through the art of Albert Altdorfer, but most particularly in Dutch Realism, where it acquired an hitherto unknown autonomy. It continued in German Romanticism. In the second half of the 19th century, French Impressionism defined with its “plein-air” painting a completely new relationship between man and nature. Vincent van Gogh, a solitary among the Impressionists, gave the world landscapes of unique suggestive force. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York possesses a series of van Gogh’s most magnificent pictures anywhere!) Today landscape painting is a commonplace of artistic topics. Eberhard Hückstädt ‘s paintings speak of the intactness of nature. The landscapes he paints are vast and open. They
are atmospheric and drenched in the characteristic light of the regions of northern Germany. Hückstädt brings them close to us, the Brandenburg March or the landscapes of Schleswig-Holstein. In the saturated, almost dramatic brown tones of the fields, the light shades of ochre-colored fallows, small wooded strips in a warm blue-gray. The horizon lies deep. In the distance, the vastness deepens. Lakes mirror the sky’s light. The boundary between air and water is dissolved. Hückstädt invites the viewer to wander. In the contemplative perception of his landscapes we can almost hear music: “The Winter Journey”, songs of the German romanticist Franz Schubert. Hückstädt’s depictions of nature are emotionally intense. We can understand them as an appeal. Man is called to preserve nature by forming a positive relationship to her. For she constitutes his space for living. There is no other.
The Still Life. According to present notions, the still life (“still-Ieven”: still = immobile, level = model, in Dutch; “nature morte” [“dead nature”] in French) can be dated back to the 16th century. It experienced its greatest flowering as a genre in Dutch painting of the 17th century: lush still lives composed of flower, table or hunting motifs. The still life follows a key postulate of art, namely mimesis (imitation), all the way to trompe l’oeil, or imitation of nature pushed to the point of visual illusion. A group of their own, running through the various stylistic periods, are the vanitas still life (vanitas = vanity). In them thoughts of ephemerality and death are given pictorial representation. Flowers, candles, mirrors, playing cards, skulls serve as representative symbols. These symbols can be found in the “Repentant Magdalen” by Georges de la Tour, as a sort of still life within a figure painting. He painted four versions of this picture, of which three are in the United States (Los Angeles, Washington and New York). The still life has the relationship between man and object as its theme. It is a question-and-answer game of highly subtile and often profound thought processes. For the 17th century, JeanBaptiste Chardin should be mentioned as a famous still life painter. And it is through the still life that Paul Cezanne became the path breaker of the Modern Age in painting. Eberhard Hückstädt’s still lives are explicit examples of what has been described above. It is evident that the vanitas theme is determinative for the intellectual as well as the stylist treatment of the subject. What we see, are overripe fruits, rich flower arrangements, in the stage of
transition: sweetly shining flowering juxtaposed against the beginning of decay. One senses the wilting fragrance. Glass points to fragility. We note the transitory, no, more than that: We are reminded! All life is limited. What of our own vanity? In the still life we are always present!
The Portraits. The great art historian Ernst H. Gombrich answers the question of what music means to him to this effect: He needs it. To live. Music gives off something comforting, and when he is depressed, he listens to classical music. Surely Gombrich is not the only one. I need music. And Eberhard Hückstädt needs music, too. Whenever we meet, Hückstädt lets me hear his new acquisitions. Perceptively, following a psychological as well as a physical need, we listen to classical music together. And there is something else that is striking about Hückstädt. He reads quite a bit; he even reads very much. And above all, he reads biographies, again and again, always biographies. It is no wonder that an artist like him feels the urge to approach biographically outstanding personalities of literary or music history not only by way of reading. He has the need to recognize the person behind the work in all his or her magnificence, but also in his or her possible weaknesses. Much pertinent material has been written. New material is being added all the time. Hückstädt, however, is interested in greater proximity, deeper apprehension - he seeks artistic appropriation. And so his portraits are created. The artistic process takes place in the alternation between the utilization of existing material, the prototype, and their transformation with the expression of subjective creativity. We see familiar figures anew: Bach, Mozart, Baudelaire, Camille Claudel. We see a new Tolstoy, a Leibnitz. These are portraits of great suggestive force. Eberhard Hückstädt is a learner. Coming from a simple social background, a middle-class environment, but having experienced much love on the part of his grandparents, he made his way through learning. This path eventually led him to artistic success.
geois” and thus granted little public recognition. Years of searching, years of finding, and again, years of searching. Insights determine the path of the artist. But where this path ultimately leads, that an artist never knows. Does art even have a defined goal? Or is the path itself the goal? Did one learn enough? Were our teachers good enough for us, or could there have been better ones? Or else: Couldn’t we have learned more, or better? So that today, now that life has made us more insightful, we could speak better, or, more precisely, in a way worthier of communicating, of this, our own, life?
Eberhard Hückstädt’s path is now one stop richer. His art takes him to the United States. This is a journey to new shores - in the literal as well as in a figurative sense. It is a challenge for him and his art. For there Hückstädt will encounter a new, unknown audience. He must pass this test. If he succeeds, then Hückstädt will have arrived once again. Can one artist write about another artist? Does one artist know enough about the other? And if so, can it be captured in words? What about art itself? For a third time, I look to Ernst H. Gombrich for help: “Why art is art - that eludes verbalization! “ However: An artist must travel - in order to arrive. Claus Hänsel Bremen, Germany, January, 2000
Hückstädt’s thinking is fundamentally humanistic. He looks for an “equals” sign between art and morals. For Hückstädt, his studies at the academy became a wide portal to knowledge. He made use of this opportunity. Hückstädt recognizes just how deep the roots extend that nourish him to this day. Once again in the words of Ernst H. Gombrich: “To learn the language of art means to know tradition.” Hückstädt found his way to this creed, before he was able to read Gombrich, then discounted as “bour-
ARTISTS OF THE GALLERY PAINTING Mohamed Abla Deladier Almeida Michael Azgoura Gina Gass Zivana Gojanovich Eberhard H체ckst채dt Thomas Jessen Denis Jully Willi Kissmer Manzur Kargar Wiebke Kramer Gabriele Lockstaedt Gerd Lieder Heiner Meyer Neil Nagy Heinz Rabbow Thomas Ritter Peter Schettler Karin Voelker Edward Walton Wilcox Paul Wunderlich Rimi Yang
ESTATES Bob Freimark Clemens Kindling David Schneuer (Representative) Paul Wunderlich SCULPTURE Baerbel Dieckmann jd hansen Holger Lassen Siegfried Neuenhausen Stefan Reichmann Christopher Schulz Pierre Schumann Heinz Spilker FINE PRINTS Marc Chagall Corneille Xenia Hausner Rudolf Hausner Joan Miro Pablo Picasso and many more...
ABOUT THE GALLERY CHRISTIAN HOHMANN | FINE ART represents over thirty years of lineage in the art world by the Hart/Hohmann family founded in Germany. Director Christian Hohmann’s parents Werner and Ursula opened their first gallery in 1976 in the cultural tourist destination of Walsrode, which quickly became a success attracting cosmopolitan visitors from all over the world. In 1998, his aunt Eva Hart ventured to the States and opened a gallery in Carmel by the Sea, a premiere address for the California fine art world. She introduced art collectors to the best European contemporary artists, a relatively untapped market in the area, and one in which was found a thriving market. Only two years later the Hart family opened another location in the heart of Chicago. Back in Germany, 19-year old Christian was honing his own career by studying Art History and Economy at the University of Trier. He also spent time working with acclaimed artist Prof. Rudolf Hausner, an important representative of the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism, to publish several important Fine Art Prints. Two years later he opened his first gallery in Hamburg at 21. In 1998 he partnered up with Thomas Levy, one of Germany’s premier art dealers and gallery owners, to open a gallery villa in Hamburg-Poeseldorf. The gallery highlighted artists such as Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Francis Bacon, and Xenia Hausner and participated in art expos including Art Frankfurt and the prestigious Hamburg Photo Triennale. Three years later, Hohmann collaborated on a project gallery in Berlin-Mitte. In 2002 Eva Hart decided to open a 5,000 square foot flagship gallery in Palm Desert, CA. Located on the exclusive El Paseo Drive in the renowned playground for the Forbes 400, the gallery played host to visitors from all over the world looking
for paradise weather, perfect golf and tennis and world-class art. Christian joined his aunt as gallery director and went on to facilitate stellar exhibitions from modern classics like Joan Miro, Chagall, and Gabriele Muenter to contemporary artists such as Paul Wunderlich, Eberhard Hückstädt and Karin Voelker. In the summer of 2009, the Harts retired and Christian decided to carry on the family tradition solo with a new 5,000 square feet signature space, also located on El Paseo Drive. Today, Christian Hohmann Fine Art reflects this rich legacy in the art world, which began in Germany over 30 years ago, and now spans across the United States. With a longstanding tradition of presenting both European and national artists of the highest caliber to the discerning collector, the gallery’s strong figurative program is accentuated by diverse offerings in 20th century master works by both familiar and emerging names. The gallery features an exquisite selection of original paintings and sculpture by over 60 unique artists while also representing many artists’ estates and publishing books and catalogs of important work. With a true passion for art, educating the client, and a devotion to its artists, the gallery has garnered a world-class reputation as a sophisticated destination for art.
BOOKS00034 Eberhard Hückstädt | Seventyfive © Hohmann Fine Art $25.00