"Vor Sonnenaufgang (Before Sunrise)", 1987
Watercolour on handmade paper
Signed, dated bottom left "S. Sprotte 87"
Born in Potsdam in 1913, Siegward Sprotte left school in 1931 after having gained his high-school diploma. He then took private drawing lessons from Adolf Dahle, before studying under Emil Orlik at the Berlin Academy of Arts, and by 1932, had become a master student of Karl Hagemeister. Following his academic training, Sprotte discovered new creative opportunities of expression. Instrumental to this process were his numerous encounters with artists, writers, and philosophers of his day with whom the painter engaged in a lively intellectual debate. Of enduring fascination are Sprotte's reductive solutions for capturing the north German landscape with just a few sparse brush strokes - attributable in part perhaps, to his keen interest in Chinese and Japanese art. Characteristic for Sprotte's work is the symbiosis he forged between the various artistic worlds. Herbert Meier, the Swiss author and connoisseur of his oeuvre, formulated this phenomenon as follows: "Where previously the dichotomies of an immutable either-or dominated, simultaneities and intrinsic differences are now emerging. The works of Siegward Sprotte are the harbingers and mirrors of such tendencies and mentality." That this intention is also being acknowledged in the reception of the work, is highlighted by the 1996 exhibition in Shanghai, featuring the artist's coloured calligraphies.
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