This present lithograph is a reworking of the same motif featured in his painting "Coastal Landscape" from 1949. The representation depicts the steep banks of the Flensburg Fjord on the outskirts of the town of Osterholz, where from 1913 until 1939 - interrupted only by the war years - Erich Heckel resided in his house there during the summer months. Whereas the afore-mentioned painting was created on one of his final visits to Osterholz, Heckel produced this lithograph "Fjord Landscape" a few years later in 1954, as a kind of memento of the happy days spent in his domicile on the Baltic coast. Since the 1910s, Heckel had during the course of his ensuing artistic career often revisited old oil paintings and watercolours in his quest for suitable motifs for his wood cuts, lithographs and etchings.
A notable aspect of this sheet is that the subject of the old painting was transferred to the medium of print graphics in true-sided form. In applying the technique of lithography, Heckel chose a process which, both in its articulation and impact, most closely corresponds to painting. Similarly, the prints further intensify the contrasts in the formal structures of the rugged coastal landscape. Compared to oil painting, the lithographic printing technique enabled Heckel to evoke a far more dramatic mood and ambience.
This lithography was published in 1954 with an extensive print run of 568 copies for the "Griffelkunst-Vereinigung" in Hamburg. In transferring an oil painting motif to a lithograph, it is apparent that Heckel's primary concern was not to fashion an updated artistic impression with his prints. Rather, his essential objective was to select a well-established subject for a specific purpose - here at the behest of the "Griffelkunst-Vereinigung", a non-profit publisher of graphic works, founded in 1925 in Hamburg, where it is remains very active today. He clearly regarded this motif as ideal for processing into the expressive medium of graphic art and warranting a wider circulation, especially in the north of Germany; hence his choice of a typical north German motif.
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