Kurt Scheele (1905 - 1944)
Painter and print maker Kurt Scheele was born at Frankfurt am Main. He first studied art with Albert Windisch and Rudolf Koch before enrolling at the Frankfut School of Art, where he studied drawing and painting with the expressionist artist Karl Delavilla.
In 1927, Scheele moved to Berlin and became a member of Der Keil (The Wedge), a group of north German expressionist artists. He made several study trips throughout Europe at that time. In 1929, Scheele studied with Martin Bloch and Anton Kerschbaumer at their recently established school in Berlin; it is there that he developed a strong interest in woodcuts, for which he became highly regarded. He participated in numerous group exhibitions across Germany as well as on two occasions in the United States. During that period, his work was acquired by museums throughout Germany as well as in Norway and the United States.
As his style evolved, Scheele fell out of favor with the Nazi regime. His works were deemed degenerate in 1937 and confiscated, and in 1939 he was banned from exhibiting his work in Germany. In 1940, Scheele was offered a teaching post at Cairo, but the outbreak of war prevented him from emigrating and he instead found himself in uniform on the Eastern Front. In 1943, his studio in Berlin was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid and most of his work was lost. Scheele was taken prisoner by the Soviet army and died in captivity near Smolensk in late 1944.
Woodcut on imitation Japan paper, 1938; edition not stated, but Scheele's woodcuts – all hand-printed by the artist - are not known to have exceeded six proofs. A portrait of the noted author, printmaker and sculptor Ernst Barlach, a friend of the artist. Image size 10¼” x 13½”; sheet size 14-3/8” x 18-5/16”. Titled, dated, and signed in pencil by the artist in the lower margin. A beautifully inked and printed impression in fine condition. Not listed in Niemann. Rare.