Presenting more than 200 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and photographs—the majority drawn from private collections and rarely seen in public—this publication offers the first comprehensive retrospective of the art of the short-lived German painter and photographer Wols (1913–1951) in more than 20 years. Wols’s fantastical art draws viewers into a strange, miniature world, one that bridges Surrealism and abstraction. It became influential in shaping postwar French art informel or tachisme. We see Wols drawing on Surrealism and naive art, but then evolve and develop new forms of expression. Essays by German and American scholars chronicle Wols’s achievement and place it in historical and artistic context, enabling a new understanding of his work and making a strong case for its place in 20th-century art. Includes a detailed exhibition history and selected bibliography.
About the Authors
Ewald Rathke is curator emeritus of Kunstverein Frankfurt. He has contributed to numerous publications on modern art.
Toby Kamps is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection. He recently served as co-curator of Silence (2012) and co-authored the accompanying publication.
Patrycja de Bieberstein Ilgner is the archivist at the Karin und Uwe Hollweg Foundation, Bremen, Germany.
Katy Siegel is a professor of art history at Hunter College, New York, and chief curator of the school’s galleries. She recently authored Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art (2011).