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Erich Heckel - See zwischen Bergen, 1960


Erich Heckel - See zwischen Bergen, 1960
Indian ink on paper
49.5 x 62 cm

From 1920 Erich Heckel stayed several times in the Alps and created watercolours and drawings. Between 1954 and 1965 he travelled frequently to the mountains of the Upper Engadine. On one of these trips, in 1960, See zwischen Bergen seems to have been created.

Thin lines reproduce the contours of the hills and edges of the mountain massifs as well as the lake shore with a distinct intuitive lightness. In contrast to this linear drawing stands the two-dimensional ink painting, which gives the depicted depth and plasticity. At the same time, the combination of line and space is reminiscent of traditional Japanese ink paintings, in which the mountain world is often portrayed.
Interestingly, Heckel leaves the lake as a white surface and only indicates a ripple in the lower area with a few brushstrokes. This emptiness in the middle of the picture stands in clear contrast to the dark and linear surroundings. Thus the gaze is guided in a circular movement around the centre of the picture, which leads to the fact that the observer does not find a point of rest and the eye wanders constantly across the scene.

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About artist
Erich Heckel
Döbeln, 1883 — 1970

Erich Heckel (31.7.1883, Döbeln - 27.1.1970, Radolfzell) began studying architecture in Dresden in 1904, where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl. Already in 1905 he gave up his studies and decided to pursue an autodidactic career as an artist. In June of the same year, he founded the artist group Brücke with Kirchner, Beyl, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff in Dresden. 
In 1937 an exhibition prohibition for Heckel's works was pronounced. As part of the “Degenerate Art” campaign, many of his works were confiscated, burned, and destroyed. In 1944 Heckel found refuge in Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance. After the war, he received various requests to return to Berlin and to take up a teaching post at the Hochschule der Künste, but he refused and stayed in Hemmenhofen until the end of his life.