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Koehler


Reinhold KoehleR 1919–1970


Reinhold KoehleR 1919–1970

NEW REALISM Décollage and Matter Painting 1948 –1970

24 October – 29 November 2019

WHI TFO RD F I N E A R T

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN +44 (0)20 7930 9332 info@whitfordfineart.com


Fig. 1: Reinhold Koehler in his studio ‘Im Dicken Turm’, Siegen, c.1957.

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REINHOLD KOEHLER New Realism: Décollage and Matter Painting 1948–1970 An Jo FERMON

In little over two decades, Reinhold Koehler developed an immense body of work, informed by the art of ‘décollage’. From 1948 until his untimely death in 1970, Koehler experimented intensely with paper, sand, glue, fire, glass and ceramics, challenging the accepted principle of beauty by using the processes of reduction and destruction. In Germany, Koehler single-handedly developed the ‘décollage’ technique which he then subjected to a multitude of experiments resulting in a panoply of radical new techniques displayed in his ‘Décollages Purs’, ‘Décollages Gravés’, ‘Décollages Brûlés’, ‘Décollages Positiv-Negativ’, ‘Contre-Collages’ also known as ‘Glasdécollages’, ‘Objets Décollagés’, ‘Décollages Imprimés’ and ‘Fenêtres Decollagées’. In addition, Koehler worked extensively with sand and glue in his so-called ‘Sandbilder’, which vary from flat scratched sandy surfaces to heavily worked space fields dotted with mini-craters. This incomparable body of work is a testimony to Koehler’s powerful creative mind and individual expression which can be situated central to the German 1950s avant-garde, matching the endeavours of Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Emil Schumacher and Wolf Vostell. Both the artist and his art belong to the North Rhine-Westphalia lands of Germany, where ‘Gruppe 53’ came to prominence in its capital Düsseldorf in 1953. Together with ‘Quadriga’ founded in Hessen’s capital, Frankfurt, and ‘ZEN 49’ founded in Bavaria’s capital, Munich, it made up the Post-War German 1950s avant-garde known as ‘Informel’. The Düsseldorf ‘Gruppe 53’ profiled itself as the leader of the avant-garde with painters such as Peter Brüning, Karl Fred Dahmen, Albert Fürst, Herbert Götzinger, Gerhard Hoehme, Hann Trier, Otto Piene and Heinz Mack. In 1958, the latter two founded the ZERO group which shed all previous accepted notions of art in an attempt to come to terms with the trauma of the Second World War. The ZERO group flourished in Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy. In 1961, Joseph Beuys was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf Academy from where his influence resonated throughout Europe and into America. During the same year, Gerhardt Richter crossed over from Eastern Germany to be able to paint freely; he enrolled at the Düsseldorf Academy, where he practiced the Tachist style of the ‘Informel’, then a form of Pop Art before turning to his trade-mark style of blurry press-photographs. The land of North Rhine-Westphalia with Düsseldorf and nearby Cologne was home to fertile artistic hubs with various communities of artists, exhibitions and events. Contributing to the buoyant North Rhine-Westphalian artistic scene was Reinhold Koehler. 5


The artists of the ‘Informel’ used Tachist and gestural styles, which they had essentially derived from Dada. Founded in 1916 in Zurich, where many foreign artists had congregated, Dada reacted to the insane horrors of the First World War by promoting the idea of anti-art. From the ashes of the First World War emerged not only a new world order, but also a new aesthetic. Alongside centuries of feudal and absolute monarchy, the reigning aesthetic of Renaissance emulation of Nature was swept away in favour of the people’s democracy and a new concept of finding beauty in destruction. Dada had in effect redefined the notion of aesthetic value as the accumulation of the creative processes, using the pioneering techniques of frottage, collage, assemblage and ready-made. In 1918, Dada spread geographically to the German cities of Berlin and Cologne, and abroad to Paris and New York. The shift from perceiving beauty in the finished art work to the significance of the creative process in all aesthetic appreciation marked the rest of 20th century art history. The term ‘décollage’ was known to the Surrealists but is traditionally used in reference to the ‘Nouveau Réalisme’ movement founded by the French art critic and art philosopher Pierre Restany, in Paris in 1960. Whilst Raymond Hains and Jacques de la Villeglé first used the technique in 1949, in a large lacerated poster called ‘Ach Alma Manetro’, it was not until 1957 that the technique became prominent within the Paris movement. In 1963 Wolf Vostell showed in the German city of Wuppertal screenings of temporal sequences of television images, called ‘9 Nein 9 Dé-coll/agen’. In view of this, it is evident that Reinhold Koehler can be considered one of the pioneers of ‘décollage’. Deployed by the German army as a foot soldier, Koehler experienced the traumas of war first-hand at the frontlines in Belgium, Northern France and Russia. He was injured and hospitalised in Denmark, where he was taken prisoner of war by the Allied Forces. Having been released by the British Forces, Koehler married and decided that a career as an artist was his calling. In 1945, he settled in the village of Altenseelbach near the city of Siegen, where he worked as an autodidact. During the summer of 1948 spent on the Island of Sylt, Koehler first used the technique of ‘décollage’. In a series of sea gulls, Koehler shaped the birds by manually tearing away parts of the top layer of a card support he had first covered with black ink. In 1949 he applied the same technique in a series of female nudes and landscapes. In 1953 Koehler moved to the city of Siegen where he would work until his death. During 1955-58 Koehler produced work in which he scratched and scraped the imagery into monotypes covered with oil paint, printing inks and gouache. These works are known as ‘Décollage-Vorstufe’, which translates as ‘Décollage - Preliminary Stage’ and visibly feature all the hallmarks of originality. During the same years, Koehler also made his first sand paintings. In the early stages these appeared as relatively flat sand-coloured surfaces incised with Koehler’s freehand scratching but over time developed into coloured built-up works decked with hollow points, reminiscent of craters of the moon. In fact, from a distance these convey a level of space-expansion through the effects of optical illusion. During the late 1960s the sand paintings were reduced to traces of sand on raw canvas. 6


In 1957 Koehler made his first ‘Plakat-Décollages’, made of superimposed layers of newspaper, magazine adverts and posters, glued on card from which areas were carefully torn away, revealing to a greater or lesser extent the imagery underneath. From 1958 onwards Koehler introduced areas cut or scratched away by knife in works that became known as ‘Décollages Gravés’. In works known as ‘Décollages Purs et Gravés’ Koehler used freehand tearing alongside knife cuts and scratches. In 1959 Koehler added yet another variant of ‘décollage’ with ‘Décollage Positiv-Negativ’ in which he carefully tore away a layer of paper by hand to then fold it over and glue it as to permanently show its underbelly. In 1960, Koehler started experimenting with fire and made a series of paper supports blackened with the imprint of heated metal, usually forks but also other kitchen paraphernalia, known as ‘Décollages Brûlés’. In 1963 Koehler reached another creative height with the production of his unique glass décollages known as ‘Contre-Collages’. Layers of paper sourced from newspapers, advertisements, magazines and printing materials were glued onto a piece of glass, which Koehler then smashed with a hammer. Subsequently he covered the broken glass with black or coloured ink which could seep into the cracks, leaving on the paper underneath a linear image created by pure chance. Whilst altogether unique in their time, the ‘Contra-Collages’ did not halt Koehler’s continuous pursuit of originality. In 1966 he made his first ‘Décollages Imprimés’, prints of flattened food cans collected from scrapyards, followed in 1968 by his ‘Fenêtres Décollagées’, being offset prints of manipulated photos of defunct industrial buildings taken by his friends Bernd Becher and Detlef Orlopp. Between 1949 and his untimely death in 1970, Koehler had one-man shows in Siegen with Galerie Nohl and in most German capital cities. During his lifetime, his work was shown worldwide in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America. In 1985 the Sprengel Museum, Hannover hosted a retrospective show, which travelled during 1986 to the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, the Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna and the Siegerland-Museum, Siegen. Koehler was a member of the ‘Deutscher Künstlerbund’ or The Association of German Artists, founded in Weimar in 1903 by a group of artists comprising Lovis Corinth, Max Klinger and Max Libermann. Koehler was also a member of the Westdeutscher Künstlerbund or The Free Association of North RhineWestphalia Artists, founded in Hagen in 1946 in order to restore the avant-garde movements which were abolished by Nazi rule. Koehler’s unique contribution to art history was recognised during his lifetime. Being associated with the movements of ‘Informel’ and ‘Nouveau Réalisme’ Koehler’s individual renderings of rhythms and revelations of a crumbly and distant reality give his work a unique status. His use of the processes of reduction and destruction to create beauty places him firmly within the modern Post-War avant-garde and bears witness to the hope and needs of a country which was coming to terms with the wounds left by its national criminal legacy. 7


Fig. 2: Reinhold Koehler at work in his studio ‘Im Dicken Turm’, Siegen, c.1957.

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CHRONOLOGY 1919

Born on 28th December in Dortmund, Germany.

1939-45 Experienced the trauma of war in Belgium, Northern France and Russia; wrote poetry and other verbal compositions inspired by classical Chinese lyrics; kept a journal and painted with watercolours and ink. Whilst at the Eastern Front in Rzhev, Russia, during 1941-1942, made first watercolours which he manipulated on the surface. 1945

Injured and hospitalised in Denmark, where he was held prisoner of war by the Allied Forces. Upon his release by the British Forces, returned home and married Dr. Med. Marianne Meier. Settled in the village of Altenseelbach near the city of Siegen, in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany. Decided to become a full-time artist. Autodidact, worked on paintings, drawings and woodcuts depicting Russian subject matter; revised his war poetry and continued writing poetry until 1958.

1946

Birth of a son named Michael.

1946-54 Drawings of landscapes and nudes, with ink and watercolour on paper or cardboard, the surface of which he manipulated by tearing, scratching, and washing out areas of ink and watercolour. 1948

Birth of a daughter named Angela.

1948

First ‘Décollages’ depicting seagulls, made during a summer trip on the German island of Sylt.

1949

First one-man show at Galerie Nohl, Siegen, which was the start of a life-long collaboration.

1950

Took a studio in Neunkirchen, neighbouring Altenseelbach.

1951

Large one-man show at the Museum im Oberen Schloss, Siegen.

1953

Moved permanently to Siegen, where he took a studio in the so-called ‘Fat Tower’ of the ‘Unteres Schloss’, one of two historical castles in the city.

1954-56 First paintings with sand, glue, pigments and lacquer. 1955

Met philosopher and scholar Max Bense (1910-1990).

1956

First scratched and scraped imagery into monotype surfaces, also using oil paint, printing colours and gouache. These works became known as ‘Décollage – Vorstufe’.

1957

First lacerated poster works called ‘Plakat-Décollages’. The sand paintings started to show moon-like craters. Started working with found objects. One-man show at Galerie Nohl, Siegen. Travelled to Belgium, Paris, Switzerland and Austria.

1958

First official use of the word ‘décollage’ in the press. First ‘Décollages Gravés’, using knives and other sharp objects to create the imagery; first ‘Objets Décollagés’, using china plates and glass bottles. Met British art critic John Anthony Thwaites (1909-1981). One-man show at Galerie Nohl, Siegen. Further one-man shows in Kassel, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Trip to Paris. 9


Fig. 3: Reinhold Koehler, Möwe, Sylt, 1948, Décollage, 65 x 44.5 cm.

Fig. 4: Reinhold Koehler, Akt (Torso), 1950, Décollage, 33.2 x 23 cm.

1959

Worked extensively on ‘Décollages Purs et Gravés’, using freehand tearing, incising by knife and other objects. First ‘Décollages Positiv-Negativ’, in which he carefully tore away a layer of paper by hand to then fold it over and glue it. Max Bense published ‘Koehler’s Dekollagen’. Travelled to France, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

1960

First ‘Décollages Brûlés’ made with heated forks and other kitchen paraphernalia. Publication of ‘Koehler’s Neue Bilder’ by John Anthony Thwaites. Short film made by Will Finger, recording the process of ‘Décollage’. One-man shows in Munich and Wiesbaden.

1960-63 The sand paintings became smaller in format. Worked on large ‘Décollages Positiv-Negativ’, ‘Décollages Purs’, ‘Décollages Purs et Gravés’ and ‘Décollages Brûlés’ using titles such as ‘Raumfeld’, ‘Feldfigur’, ‘Thorax’.

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1961

Met the author Helmut Heißenbüttel (1921-1996). Eberhard Fiebig (b. 1930) recorded the making of a ‘Décollage Gravé’ in a short film. One-man shows in Munich and Wiesbaden. Travelled to Yugoslavia.

1962

First ‘Contre-Collages’ made with paper glued onto glass, which he smashed and covered with ink to create random imagery. Participated in the exhibition ‘Sixteen German Artists’ in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, travelling to six other cities in the states of Ohio, New York, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Virginia. Trips to Spain and Morocco.


Fig. 5: Reinhold Koehler with Helmut Heißenbüttel at Galerie Renate Boukes, Wiesbaden, 1963.

Fig. 6: John Anthony Thwaites speaking at Koehler’s one-man show in Kunstzaal De Mangelgang, Groningen, The Netherlands, 1964.

Fig. 7: View of Koehler’s one-man show in Kunstzaal De Mangelgang, Groningen, The Netherlands, 1964.

1963

One-man show at Galerie Boukes, Wiesbaden. Travelled to Yugoslavia.

1964

One-man show at Galerie Nohl, Siegen. Further one-man shows in Witten, Groningen, Finsterwolde and Kassel. Texts about Koehler’s work by Helmut Heißenbüttel, Wilhelm Nettmann, director of the Märkisches Museum in Witten during 1953-1978, and Wieland Schmied, Austrian art historian and critic. Travelled to Bulgaria and Istanbul.

1965-67 The sand paintings took on a larger format and showed concentrations of shapes on bare or thinly covered canvas. 1965

One-man show in Stuttgart, Wuppertal and Prague; selected to participate in Contemporary Painting in Germany, City Art Gallery, Auckland. Travelled to Prague, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

1966

First edition of ‘Décollages Imprimés’, printed works made with flattened food cans, collected from scrap yards. Travelled to Greece. One-man show at Galerie Nohl, Siegen. One-man show in Soest.

1967

Selected as part of a landmark exhibition about the West German avant-garde, held in Prague and Casablanca. Travelled to Switzerland and Romania.

1968

Started writing palindromes, also called ‘Contra-Texts’.

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Fig.8: Reinhold Koehler, Torso 199/ green, Objet Décollagé, 1967, 30 x 20 cm.

Fig. 9: Reinhold Koehler, Thorax 67/ red, Décollage Imprimé, offset print on paper, 1967, 106.5 x 78.3 cm.

1968-69 Printed editions of ‘Contre-Collages Imprimés’, also called ‘Fenêtres Décollagées’, using photos taken by his friends Bernd Becher (1931-2007) and Detlef Orlopp (b. 1937), of condemned industrial buildings in Siegerland. Appointed as a teacher at the local ‘Gesamthochschule’, as of 1980 known as The University of Siegen. Further editions of ‘Décollages Imprimés’. Selected to participate in shows in Bucharest and Zagreb. One-man shows in WuppertalBarmen, Stuttgart, Bremen, Grenchen, Siegen (Galerie Nohl), Stuttgart, Cologne and Hof.

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1969

The sand paintings became gradually thinner in matter, showing traces of sand on raw canvas. First publication of his palindromes, also called ‘Contra-Texts’. One man shows in Cologne and in Bochum.

1970

Died unexpectedly on 24th April in Siegen, Germany.


FURTHER READING BÜCHNER, Joachim, Hans M. SCHMIDT. Reinhold Koehler 1919–1970: Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. KOEHLER, Angela and Michael KOEHLER. Über Reinhold Koehler: Essays & Rezensionen 1957–2004, exhibition catalogue Märkisches Museum, Witten, 2009. KOEHLER, Angela, Walter ISRAEL and Wolfgang ZEMTER. Gedichte & Contratexte 1940–1970, exhibition catalogue Märkisches Museum, Witten, 2015. OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler: Décollage Werkverzeichnis. Catalogue Raisonné, Bergish Gladbach, 2017. RIHA, Karl, Ruth NOHL, Ilse KRAHL and Wilhem HEIL. Avantgarde in Siegen: Die Galerie Nohl 1957–1968, exhibition catalogue, Kuntverein Siegen, Siegen, 1994.

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1. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1957/3 1957 Mixed media on card 62.5 x 44.5 cm 14


2. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1957 Mixed media on canvas 28 x 30 cm 16


3. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1958 Mixed media on canvas 61.5 x 44 cm 18


4. Schwartzes Sandbild 58 I 1958 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 43.5 x 73.5 cm 20


5. Sandbild ROT 1958-1959 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 70 x 47 cm 21


6. DĂŠcollage 1958 1958 Mixed media on card 36.4 x 64.9 cm 22


7. Sandbild 58 II 1958 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 70 x 98.5 cm 23


8. DĂŠcollage 1958 II/2 1958 Ink on card with freehand scratching 50.1 x 65.2 cm 24


9. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1959 Mixed media on canvas 38.4 x 30.4 cm 26


10. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1959 Mixed media on canvas 41 x 31 cm 27


11. Sandbild 1959-1960 Mixed media on canvas 37 x 37 cm 28


12. Plakat-DĂŠcollage 1959/60 1959-1960 Mixed media on canvas 26.6 x 24.5 cm 29


13. Gelbes Sandbild 1960 IX 1959-1960 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 101 x 70 cm 30


14. DĂŠcollage Pur 1960 Ink and gouache on card, manipulated by freehand 50 x 65 cm 32


15. THORAX - DĂŠcollage Positiv-Negativ 1960/XII 1960 Mixed media on card, manipulated by freehand 49.8 x 64.4 cm 33


16. DĂŠcollage Positiv-Negativ 1960 IX/1 1960 Ink on card, manipulated by freehand 50 x 54.1 cm 34


17. Objet Décollagé, Tellerdécollage 1960 Broken china on canvas 40 x 40 cm 35


18. DĂŠcollage Positiv-Negativ 1960 VII/7 1960 Ink on card, manipulated by freehand 64.4 x 49.8 cm 36


19. Sandbild 1960 II/3 1960 Mixed media on canvas 38 x 33 cm 38


20. Décollage Pur et Brûlé (1961) Ink on paper scorched with heated forks 42.5 x 31 cm 39


21. Sandbild 1961 IX 1961 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 100 x 80 cm 40


22. DĂŠcollage Pur 1961 Ink and gouache on card, pierced and manipulated by hand 50 x 65 cm 42


23. DĂŠcollage Positiv-Negativ 1961 Red ink on card, pierced and manipulated by hand 57 x 87 cm 43


24. DĂŠcollage materiel 1961 Mixed media on canvas 79 x 50 cm 44


25. DĂŠcollage Pur 1961 Card manipulated with knife and by freehand 48 x 67.5 cm 46


26. Décollage Brûlé c. 1962 Paper scorched with heated forks and metal implements 25 x 25 cm 47


27. THORAX für N.K. 1961, Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1961 Paper and glue on canvas 100 x 48 cm 48


28. Décollage Pur, Gravé und Brûlé 1961/I/18 1961 Ink on paper scorched with heated forks 65 x 50 cm 50


29. DĂŠcollage GravĂŠ 1962 V/1 1962 Ink on card, manipulated by knife 50 x 65 cm 51


30. Raum-Feld-Kรถrper, Contre-Collage 1963 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 73 x 50 cm 52


31. Thorax Fragment, Contre-Collage 1963 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 72 x 50 cm 53


32. Contre-Collage Thorax 1963/64, Hommage Ă Leonardo 1963/64 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 30 x 25 cm

33. Contre-Collage 1963-1965 Paper, glass, biro, glue and ink laid down on canvas 100 x 80.5 cm 54


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34. THORAX, Contre-Collage 1964 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 98 x 78.5 cm 56


35. Contre-Collage 1964 1964 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 73 x 50 cm 58


36. Plakat-Décollage 'Stan' 1965 Film Poster 'Dick und Doof' (Stan), laid down on canvas 70 x 60 cm 59


37. Objet Décollagé 1962 X 1962 Mixed media 30 x 30 x 6.5 cm 60


38. Objet Décollagé 1968 no.4 1968 Broken china on canvas 24 x 30 cm

39. Objet Décollagé 1968 no.9 1968 Broken china on canvas 36.3 x 36.3 cm 61


40. Figur Ondo, Contre-Collage 1968 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm 62


41. Figur SCH, Contre-Collage 1968 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm 63


42. Fragment H, Contre-Collage 1969 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm 64


43. Figur 69, Contre-Collage 1969 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70.5 cm 65


LIST OF WORKS 1.

Plakat-Décollage 1957/3 1957 Mixed media on card 62.5 x 44.5 cm Signed lower left; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso

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EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospective, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985.

LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1957-2, p. 50, ill. 2.

Plakat-Décollage 1957 Mixed media on canvas 28 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso; Estate stamp verso

LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 6, p. 33, ill. 8.

LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1957-7, p. 51, ill. 3.

Plakat-Décollage 1958 Mixed media on canvas 61.5 x 44 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed and dated verso

Schwartzes Sandbild 58 I 1958 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 43.5 x 73.5 cm Signed and dated verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospective, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 5, p. 32, ill.

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Sandbild ROT 1958-1959 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 70 x 47 cm Estate stamp verso Décollage 1958 1958 Mixed media on card 36.4 x 64.9 cm Signed and dated lower right LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1958-14, ill. p. 65 and ill. pp. 9-10.

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Décollage 1958 II/2 1958 Ink on card with freehand scratching 50.1 x 65.2 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler, 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 78, p. 66, ill. OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1958-5, p. 56, ill.

LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1958-52, p. 82, ill. 4.

Sandbild 58 II 1958 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 70 x 98.5 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso

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Plakat-Décollage 1959 Mixed media on canvas 38.4 x 30.4 cm Signed and dated verso; Estate stamp verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1959-75, p. 115, ill. and ill. p. 12.

10. Plakat-Décollage 1959 Mixed media on canvas 41 x 31 cm Estate stamp verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1959)78, p. 115, ill. 11. Sandbild 1959-1960 Mixed media on canvas 37 x 37 cm Signed and dated verso; Estate stamp verso


12. Plakat-Décollage 1959/60 1959-1960 Mixed media on canvas 26.6 x 24.5 cm Traces of Koehler's signature lower right; signed and dated verso; Estate stamp verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1960-82, p. 149, ill. 13. Gelbes Sandbild 1960 IX 1959-1960 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 101 x 70 cm Dated verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospective, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 15, p. 39, ill. 14. Décollage Pur 1960 Ink and gouache on card, manipulated by freehand 50 x 65 cm LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1960)56, p. 139, ill. 15. THORAX - Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1960/XII 1960 Mixed media on card, manipulated by freehand 49.8 x 64.4 cm Signed lower right; dated and inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1960-78, p. 147, ill. 16. Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1960 IX/1 1960 Ink on card, manipulated by freehand 50 x 54.1 cm Signed and dated lower left; signed dated and inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1960-44, p. 134 ill.

17. Objet Décollagé, Tellerdécollage 1960 Broken china on canvas 40 x 40 cm Signed, dated and inscribed verso EXHIBITED:Reinhold Koehler: Décollagierte Objekte, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Schiessel, Cologne, 1969, cat. ill. p. 12. 18. Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1960 VII/7 1960 Ink on card, manipulated by freehand 64.4 x 49.8 cm Signed and dated lower centre; signed, dated and inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1960-24, p. 127, ill. 19. Sandbild 1960 II/3 1960 Mixed media on canvas 38 x 33 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed and dated verso 20. Décollage Pur et Brûlé (1961) Ink on paper scorched with heated forks 42.5 x 31 cm Inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1961)4, p. 151, ill. 21. Sandbild 1961 IX 1961 Sand, glue and pigments on canvas 100 x 80 cm Dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso 22. Décollage Pur 1961 Ink and gouache on card, pierced and manipulated by hand 50 x 65 cm LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1961)63, p. 170, ill. 23. Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1961 Red ink on card, pierced and manipulated by hand 57 x 87 cm LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1961)35, p. 159, ill.

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24. Décollage materiel 1961 Mixed media on canvas 79 x 50 cm Estate stamp verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1961)27, p. 157, ill. 25. Décollage Pur 1961 Card manipulated with knife and by freehand 48 x 67.5 cm LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1961-48, p. 164, ill. 26. Décollage Brûlé c. 1962 Paper scorched with heated forks and metal implements 25 x 25 cm Estate stamp verso 27. THORAX für N.K. 1961, Décollage Positiv-Negativ 1961 Paper and glue on canvas 100 x 48 cm Signed and dated lower centre; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970 Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 46, p. 47, ill. and ill. front cover. OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1961 31, p. 158, ill. 28. Décollage Pur, Gravé und Brûlé 1961/I/18 1961 Ink on paper scorched with heated forks 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLAEGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1961-12, p. 153, ill.

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29. Décollage Gravé 1962 V/1 1962 Ink on card, manipulated by knife 50 x 65 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLÄGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D1962-20, p. 178, ill. and ill. p. 6. 30. Raum-Feld-Körper, Contre-Collage 1963 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 73 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right; inscribed verso EXHIBITED: Deutscher Künstlerbund, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, 1964. 31. Thorax Fragment, Contre-Collage 1963 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 72 x 50 cm 32. Contre-Collage Thorax 1963/64, Hommage à Leonardo 1963/64 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 30 x 25 cm Signed and dated lower right; signed and inscribed verso 33. Contre-Collage 1963-1965 Paper, glass, biro, glue and ink laid down on canvas 100 x 80.5 cm Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 53, p. 49, ill. 34. THORAX, Contre-Collage 1964 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 98 x 78.5 cm Signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 56, p. 50, ill.


35. Contre-Collage 1964 1964 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 73 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower left Estate stamp verso 36. Plakat-Décollage 'Stan' 1965 Film Poster 'Dick und Doof' (Stan), laid down on canvas 70 x 60 cm Estate stamp verso LITERATURE: OELSCHLAEGEL, Petra, Dieter RONTE and Angela KOEHLER. Reinhold Koehler. Décollage: Werkverzeichnis. Bergisch Gladbach, 2018, no. D(1965)9, p. 197, ill. 37. Objet Décollagé 1962 X 1962 Mixed media 30 x 30 x 6.5 cm Signed, dated and titled verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 137, p. 58, ill. 38. Objet Décollagé 1968 no.4 1968 Broken china on canvas 24 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso EXHIBITED: Sandobjekte, Fensterdécollagen, décollagierte Objekte von Reinhold Koehler, Städtische Galerie im Haus Seel, Siegen, 1970. LITERATURE: HEIßENBÜTTEL, Helmut. Sandobjekte, Fensterdécollagen, décollagierte Objekte von Reinhold Koehler, exhibition catalogue Städtische Galerie im Haus Seel, Siegen, 1970, cat. ill. p. 14. 39. Objet Décollagé 1968 no.9 1968 Broken china on canvas 36.3 x 36.3 cm Signed, dated and inscribed verso

LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 60, p. 52, ill. 41. Figur SCH, Contre-Collage 1968 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm Signed lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 59. 42. Fragment H, Contre-Collage 1969 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm Signed lower left; signed, dated and inscribed verso, Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 65, p. 53, ill. 43. Figur 69, Contre-Collage 1969 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70.5 cm Traces of Koehler’s signature lower left; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985. LITERATURE: BÜCHNER, Joachim and Beatrix NOBIS. Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, retrospective exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985, no. 64.

40. Figur Ondo, Contre-Collage 1968 Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas 70 x 70 cm Signed lower right; signed, dated and inscribed verso; Estate stamp verso EXHIBITED: Reinhold Koehler 1919-1970, Retrospektive, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1985.

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS 1949 Buchhandlung Ruth Nohl, Siegen. 1950 Galerie Kunstspiegel, Freiburg im Breisgau. 1951 Museum des Siegerlandes, Siegen. Museum Haus am Dom, Mainz. 1957 Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. 1958 Kunstkabinett Lometsch, Kassel. Galerie Alfred Schmela, Düsseldorf. Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. Galerie Klaus Franck, Frankfurt am Main. 1959 Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. 1960 Galerie Otto van de Loo, Munich. Städtisches Museum, Wiesbaden. 1961 Galerie Boukes, Wiesbaden. Kunstpavillon, Soest. Kunstkabinett Lometsch, Kassel. 1963 Galerie Renate Boukes, Wiesbaden. 1964 Märkisches Museum, Witten. Kunstzaal De Mangelgang, Groningen (NL). Galerie Albert Waalkens, Finsterwolde (NL). Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. Städtische Galerie, Haus Seel, Siegen. Junge Galerie, Kassel. 1965 Studiengalerie Technische Hochschule, Stuttgart. Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal. Galerie Na Karlove Námestí, Prague (CZ). 1966 Kunstpavillion, Soest. Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. 1967 Galerie Porta, Will Seringhaus, Wuppertal-Barmen. 1968 Galerie der Edition Hans Jörg Meyer, Stuttgart. Kleine Grafik-Galerie, Bremen and Solingen. Galerie Toni Brechbühl, Grenchen (CH). Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. Galerie K 235, Ingo Kümmel, Cologne. Galerie Weinelt, Hof. 1969 Galerie Albert Schiessel, Cologne. Städtischer Kunstverein, Bochum. 1970 Galerie S Press, Blankenstein – Buchholz. Städtische Galerie, Haus Seel, Siegen. 1977 Galerie Karin Fesel, Wiesbaden. 1980 Galerie Karin Fesel, Wiesbaden. 1985 Sprengel Museum Hannover (retrospective exhibition), travelling to Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen (1985-1986); Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna (1986), (AT); SiegerlandMuseum, Siegen (1986). Galerie Karin Fesel, Düsseldorf.

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1988 Galerie E, Zurich (CH). Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus, Soest. 1989 Galerie Nawrath, Arnsberg-Neheim. 1990 Galerie Marianne Hennemann, Bonn. 1994 Adolf Saenger-Stiftung, Siegen. Galerie Magdalena Kaiser, Siegen. 1999 Bürgerhaus, Neunkirchen. 2009 Märkisches Museum, Witten. 2015 Galerie Christian Pixis, Munich. 2018 Kunstmuseum Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach. 2019 Siegerlandmuseum im Oberen Schloss, Siegen. Whitford Fine Art, London (UK).

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 1953 Westfälische Kunst, travelling exhibition. 1955 Zeitgenössische Kunst in Westfalen, Kulturgemeinde Siegen. 1958 Abstrakte Malerei in Westfalen, Kunstverein Münster and Museum des Siegerlandes. Westdeutscher Künstlerbund, Karl-Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Hagen. 1959 Galerie Renate Boukes, Wiesbaden. Deutscher Künstlerbund, Städtisches Museum, Wiesbaden. 1960 Grosse Münchner Kunstausstellung, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Deutscher Künstlerbund, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Westdeutscher Künstlerbund, Karl-Ernst OsthausMuseum, Hagen. 10. Winterausstellung der Künstler von Rheinland und Westfalen, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf. 1961 Hedendaagse Kunst uit Westfalen, Stadsschouwburg Kortrijk, Provinciaal Hof, Brugge en Casino, Blankenberge (B). 1962 14 Künstler, Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. Westfälische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert, Städtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum. Westfälische Grafik 1962, Gustav-Lübke-Museum, Hamm. Sixteen German Artists, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., travelling to Columbus, Ohio; Utica, New York; Des Moines, Iowa; Kalamazoo, Michigan; St.Louis, Missouri; Richmond, Virginia (USA). Deutsche Malerei Situation 62, Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg and Kunsthalle, Bremen. Westdeutscher Künstlerbund, Karl-Ernst OsthausMuseum, Hagen. 1963 IV Biennale internazionale d’arte, Republic of San Marino.


1964 Deutscher Werkbund, Hannover. Deutscher Künstlerbund, Haus am Waldsee und Hochschule für bildende Künste, Berlin. Westdeutscher Künstlerbund, Karl-Ernst OsthausMuseum, Hagen. 1965 Contemporary Painting in Germany, City Art Gallery, Auckland (NZ). 1966 Deutscher Künstlerbund, Grugahalle, Essen. 1967 Kunst der Bundesrepublik, Prag, Brno and Bratislava (CZ and SK). Albers, Geiger, Koehler, Schumacher, Wunderlich, Galerie Ruth Nohl, Siegen. Gravures et dessins allemands du XXème siècle, Casablanca (MA). 1968 Kunst der Bundesrepublik, Bucharest (RO). 1968-69 First British International Print Biennale, City Art Gallery and Museums, Bradford (UK). 1969 Deutscher Künstlerbund, Hannover. 1970 Deutscher Künstlerbund, Bonn. Second British International Print Biennale, City Art Gallery and Museums, Bradford (UK). 1977 Europalia – l’Art de l’affiche, Albertina, Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels (B). 1978 Tecken (lettres, signes et écriture), Malmö (SE). 1979 Studiengalerie 1957–1979 im Rückblick, Studiengalerie Studium Generale, Universität, Stuttgart. 1980-83 Papier als Künstlerisches Medium, Galerie St. Johann, Saarbrücken; Kunstverein, Heidelberg; Theatergalerie, Remscheid; Städtisches Museum, Kirchheim-Teck; Städtische Galerie, Ravensburg; Kunstverein Wolfsburg; Museum Schwäbisch, Gmünd; Städtisches Museum, Gelsenkirchen; Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken. 1985 Kunst und Kultur in Rheiland und Westfalen 1945 – 1952: Neubeginn und Kontinuität, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf; Kunstmuseum, Bochum. 1987 Collagen, Décollagen, Contre-Collagen, Reinhold Koehler, Lena Bosch, Christian Heinrich, Galerie Karin Fesel, Düsseldorf. 1988 Struktur und Geste ‘Informelle Malerei’ und ‘Subjektive Fotografie’ in der deutschen Kunst der 50er Jahre, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen. 1990 Deutsches Informel, Galerie Gertrud Dorn, Stuttgart. 1993 ’68 – Kunst und Kultur, Museen und Städtische Galerien der Mitgliedsstädte der Kultursekretariats NRW Gütersloh, Bad Oeynhausen, Gladbeck, Herne, Kempen, Lemgo, Lüdenscheid, Lünen, Marl, Minden and Siegen.

1994 Avangarde in Siegen - Die Galerie Nohl 1957–1968, Kunstverein Siegen. 1998 Brennpunkt Informel, Quellen – Strömungen – Reaktionen, Kurpfälziches Museum, Heidelberg; Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg; Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität, Heidelberg. 2001 CollageWelten 1, Das Experiment – Zur Collage im 20. Jahrhundert, Kunst-Museum, Ahlen. Ausstellung zum 100. Geburtsag von Max Bense, ZM, Karlsruhe. 2004 Décollage International, Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin. 2007 Papier, Papier, Papier, Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach. 2011-12 Zeitspuren, Aus der Sammlung Fred Besser, Haus Oranierstrasse, Siegerlandmuseum, Siegen. 2012 Zeitgenössenschaft, Märkisches Museum, Witten. 2012-13 Dialog über Grenzen - Die Sammlung Riese, GASK, Kutna Hora; Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren; Angermuseum, Erfurt; Schloss Achberg, Ravensburg; Kunsthalle St. Annen, Lübeck; Kunstforum Ostdeusche Galerie, Regensburg. 2013 Wahlverwandschaften, Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach. Die Zeit der Gaben, Schenkungen und Dauerleihgaben seit 2010, Märkisches Museum, Witten.

MUSEUMS Kunstmuseum Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach Kunsthalle, Bielefeld Kunstmuseum Bochum Museum Ostwall, Dortmund Gustav-Lübke-Museum, Hamm Museumlandschaft Hessen, Kassel Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen LWL Landesmuseum, Münster Museumkreis Siegen-Wittgenstein Siegerlandmuseum, Siegen Museum Wilhelm Morgner, Soest Goethe Institut, Munich Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna Märkisches Museum, Witten Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal

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This publication and exhibition commemorate Reinhold Koehler’s centenary birthday and coincides with the exhibition Reinhold Koehler zum 100. Geburtstag, hosted by the Siegerlandmuseum im Oberen Schloss, Siegen. Our profound thanks go to Mrs Angela Koehler for her generosity in allowing us to represent the Koehler Estate. We are grateful for her assistance in preparing this catalogue.

Facing title page: detail of cat. 28.

© 2019 An Jo Fermon Published by Whitford Fine Art, London All artworks © Estate Reinhold Koehler All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part is this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or in any other form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without permission in writing from the publisher.

Exhibition coordination: Alexandre Mibus, Whitford Fine Art, London Photography: Mario Bettella Design and Production: Artmedia Press, London Printed and bound in UK ISBN 978-1-9996593-3-2

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Profile for Whitford Fine Art

REINHOLD KOEHLER - New Realism: Décollage and Matter, 1948-1970  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition featuring the works of Reinhold Koehler. In little over two decades, Reinhold Koehler de...

REINHOLD KOEHLER - New Realism: Décollage and Matter, 1948-1970  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition featuring the works of Reinhold Koehler. In little over two decades, Reinhold Koehler de...

Profile for whitford