Exhibition Preview

Inspiring the eyes - Woodcuts by HAP Grieshaber in the Würth Collection

Hirschwirtscheuer, Künzelsau

December 20, 2023 - Summer 2024

Wednesday to Sunday, Public Holidays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

“Do everything out of joy and out of love, and authentically. What you cannot love, what does not keep you in joy and in which you see even the slightest compulsion, leave it!”

HAP Grieshaber

 

Immersed in the world with passion and an unconventional spirit: HAP Grieshaber (Helmut Andreas Paul, 1909–1981) stands among the most remarkable artists of the German post-war period. Approximation was never his style - neither aesthetically nor politically. Thus, it is not surprising that the trained typographer and graphic artist achieved a fundamental redefinition of woodcutting. In this medium, he can take a stand: black or white, existence or non-existence, matter or emptiness. Initially following expressionist woodcut traditions, Grieshaber also reaches back to its origins in Old German art. With craftsmanship, he enlarged the woodcut, elevating it to the status of wall art. With exceptional skill, he expands the realm of woodcutting, elevating it to the stature of mural art. Remarkably, he draws gentle and lyrical nuances from the rigid and angular material, adding a nuanced dimension to the image of the accomplished woodcut artist.

As a professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Künste in Karlsruhe from 1995 to 1960, Grieshaber became an influential mentor to a new generation of contemporary artists and a pioneer for the New Figuration movement. His students include Horst Antes, Dieter Krieg, Heinz Schanz and Walter Stöhrer. Experiencing his most productive phase in the 1960s and 1970s, Grieshaber's work is infused with experimental impulses stemming from his intense engagement with painting, supported by the matured mastery of his cutting technique.

 

From this period, the Hirschwirtscheuer Künzelsau presents over 50 works by HAP Grieshaber from the Würth Collection. Since its opening in 1989, the museum has been dedicated to perserve the legacy of the artist family Sommer from Künzelsau and contrasting their work with contemporary art. This setting is particularly fitting for HAP Grieshaber’s work, who consciously placed himself in the artisanal tradition of the woodcutters transposing their art into the 20th century.

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Würth Collection