Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rolf Nesch - Printmaker

Selbstbildnis mit Hut 1923 - Drypoint

Emil Rudolf Nesch

"Nesch was always an outsider to the art world, one of the great loners, isolated, dependent on no one, totally independent," wrote Time in 1973.

Norweigan born in Esslingen Am Neckar, a city located in the south-western state of Baden-Württemburg Germany. Nesch studied in Dresden at the Dresdner Akademie Schüler, studying under Oskar Kokoschkas from 1912-1914. He began as an oil painter but later found his niche unexpectedly in graphic design and German Expressionism. 

In 1942 he spent several weeks with the painter Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner, a painter and printmaker as well as co-founder for the artist group die Brüke (Bridge). Kirchner taught Nesch graphic design and the art of printmaking and how to print. Having lived in both Berlin and Esslingen he eventually moved to Hamburg in 1929 where he had many supporters and took a heavier part in the social scene the Hamburger Brüke movement. 

In 1933 Nazi's removed several of his paintings from an exhibit afterwords spent several months advocating the freedom of art and expression, to his former war comrade and Mayor of Hamburg to no avail. In the fall of that year he decided to leave Germany and emigrate to Norway. 

Living with great finical struggles in Norway with his then wife Irma, he struggled finding cliental and supporters. Irma became fed up and left him, moving back to Germany. In 1943 the then 50 year old artist would have been drafted into the German Armed Forces but in desperation threw himself in front of a street tram which resulted in a life long paralysis of half his body.  

He eventually attainted Norweigan citizenship in the year 1946 and married an actress named Ragnhild Hald and settled on a farm near Oslo. From 1950 on he began selling his work, receiving commissions in Norway and again in Germany further leading him to international success. In 1975 he died in Oslo at the age of 82.

Totenstille 1937 - Metal print

Fräulein K. 1926 - Etching and drypoint with open bite

Freihafenbrücke 1932 - Metal print with Aquatint

Strich 1931 - Drypoint

Elbe Brüke I 1932 

Heringsfan 1938 - 6 Part Metal Print

Teater i Alta 1947-48 - Metal Print

Schlangenfresser 1966 - Metal Relief Print

Fischermann 1970

See his art process here:

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