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Hans Steiner - Malven am Toreingang, 1908


Hans Steiner - Malven am Toreingang, 1908
Oil on canvas
46 x 32.5 cm

The landscape painter and graphic artist Hans Adolf Steiner (1872, Lenzburg - 1955, Aarau) began his apprenticeship at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Aarau in 1889. Afterwards he went to the general School of Crafts in Basel, but he had to give up his studies due to the death of his father. From then on, he worked as a graphic artist and regularly took part in the annual exhibitions of artists of the canton of Aargau.

The painting Malven am Toreingang captivates with an unconventional picture detail that reminds of a photographic snapshot. The artist deliberately does not place the tall mallows in the center of the picture, but rather moves them slightly to the left so that the open garden gate remains visible. With this clever composition, Steiner breaks the barrier between the fore- and the background, which is formed by the dominant, dark blue garden fence. The mallows, corralled with coarse wooden slats, appear due to the human-made construction at the same time trapped and protected. This feeling of tightness contrasts sharply with the opening on the right-hand area of the picture. The earthy path that leads back into a wide natural landscape appears almost like an escape way.
This extraordinary work by Hans Steiner reveals elements of classic modernism and an open-minded, talented artist.

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