Erich Heckel - Späte Kresse (Late Cress), 1946

Watercolour on handmade paper

61 x 48 cm / framed 85 x 70 cm
24 x 18 inch / framed 33 x 27 inch

titled, signed, dated bottom right:
“– Späte Kresse – Heckel 46”

– with handmade craftman’s frame and UV-absorbing glass –

N 9513

About the work

Heckel nurtured a special preference for still life throughout his creative life. Especially his floral paintings fascinate with the interplay of various pictorial subjects and the special light situation. The stringently and clearly constructed background in the work "Späte Kresse" contrasts with the animation of the climbing leaves of the Indian cress with its brilliant orange-red blooms. Heckel was successful here not only in presenting an image of the cress that was faithful to nature, but also in capturing its characteristic manifestation.

The stylistic transformation already found in the works of Heckel at the beginning of the 1920s is also evident in this watercolour. The colourfulness is subdued on the whole, the motif nearly lyrical. The watercolour seems light despite all the heaviness of the times. The artist responded with pertly climbing cress stems as an expression of hope and lightness to the unrelenting events that were behind him. The horn, which overlays the entire scene in the background, can be interpreted as a symbol for strength and power based on its meaning in the animal kingdom.

Following the destruction of the Berlin apartment and of the studio during the bombing attacks, Heckel and his wife Siddi found refuge in Hemmenhofen, in the summer house of the Ravensburg architect Johann Wurm, located directly on the shore of Lake Constance, thanks to the mediation of the art historian Walter Kaesbach. The work originated in the garden hall of these first, safe accommodations. Like this watercolour, Heckel also created the stone figure in the foreground in 1946. It can be found in the catalogue raisonné under the no. (add here or delete this sentence!). This is a crouching female nude that seems like a resonance of the wooden sculpture "Hockende” [Crouching Woman] from 1912, which is today found in the Museum Folkwang in Essen.

Text authored and provided by Dr Andrea Fink, art historian

The art historian, curator and freelance publicist Andrea Fink studied art history, cultural studies and humanities, modern history and philosophy in Bochum and Vienna. Doctorate in 2007 on the work of the Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. As a freelance curator and art consultant, her clients include, among others, the Kunstverein (art association) Ahlen, Kunstverein Soest, Wella Museum, Museum am Ostwall Dortmund, ThyssenKrupp AG, Kulturstiftung Ruhr, Osthaus Museum Hagen, Franz Haniel GmbH, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria.

New Works, Artists and
Exhibitions in our Newsletter
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

These include essential cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as others that are used only for anonymous statistical purposes, for comfort settings or to display personalized content. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

These include essential cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as others that are used only for anonymous statistical purposes, for comfort settings or to display personalized content. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.

HEADLINE

INFOBODY

X

hnPopoverContent
IMAGE

Erich Heckel, Late Cress, 1946, 61 x 48 cm / framed 85 x 70 cm, N 9513
change size