Karl Hofer - Tessiner Landschaft

Karl Hofer - Tessiner Landschaft - image-1
Karl Hofer - Tessiner Landschaft - image-1

Karl Hofer

Tessiner Landschaft
1943

Oil on canvas 70 x 100 cm Framed. Monogrammed and dated 'CH 43' (joined) in brown lower right. - In excellent condition with fresh colours.

Working from Switzerland, where Karl Hofer's patron Dr Theodor Reinhart lived, the painter discovered the Ticino as a landscape motif. From 1925 until 1939 Hofer usually spent the summer months there; in 1931 he purchased a house by Lake Lugano: the “Torrazza di Caslano”.
The present view from Ticino is distinguished by its particularly clear forms and calm pictorial structure. The tones of the colours are finely modulated and evoke an early evening atmosphere. Mountains, meadows and farmyards rest tranquilly.
Hofer had already expressed his views in a 1922 article entitled “Ein neuer Naturalismus” in the journal “Das Kunstblatt”:
“It is not difficult to use the utensils of the painter and sculptor to create illusionistic artworks that are similar to nature. It is equally easy to use the same acquiescent material to give shape to independently created, abstract forms that are distant from nature. It is difficult or, rather, the rare talent of rare individuals to depict the inner expression in the language of natural forms, which is understood by everyone and in every period. Not through an approximation or exaggeration, but through an understanding simplification that contains everything or through a presentation of everything that is a veneration and not a copy - as fools believe” (cited in: exhib. cat. Karl Hofer - Malerei, Grafik, Zeichnung, Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Halle 1978/1979, p. 23).
The insight that painting is not to be a naturalistic reproduction but the outward expression of an inner image seems illuminating for the “Landschaft im Tessin”, which was presumably created in the summer months of 1943 and may, after all, be more reflective of an emptiness bordering on tranquillity in the artist's own state of mind. Hofer's studio in Berlin had burned completely during a bombing raid in March, and every piece from ten years of work, around 150 paintings and 1500 drawings, had been destroyed. Perhaps Karl Hofer had also already regained his equilibrium - after all, he had used photographs to create most of the works anew in just a few months.
“[...] have already taken care of a large portion in a berserker-like rage of productivity. It was clear to me that this could not just be a matter of simple repetitions, but of newly formed works, even if they are sometimes extremely closely connected to what has been destroyed. The tremendous surge of energy that I experienced through the catastrophe enabled me to provide most of it with a far better form,” is what Hofer had already written to his friend Leopold Ziegler in July of the same year (cited in: exhib. cat. Karl Hofer 1878 - 1955, Staatliche Kunsthalle Berlin 1978, p. 120).

Catalogue Raisonné

Wohlert 1741

Provenance

Private collection; Lempertz Köln, Auktion Moderne Kunst 859, 5 June 2004, lot 768; Galerie Vömel, Düsseldorf; Private collection, Rhineland; To be sold on behalf of the Verein der Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museums und des Museum Ludwig, Cologne.

Lot 211 D

Estimate:
60.000 € - 70.000 €

Result:
60.000 €