WOODCUT AND WOODEN SCULPTURE
Previously little known in Germany, in Switzerland he has long since ranked among the significant expressionists of the second generation: the Basel-resident sculptor, painter and graphic artist Hermann Scherer (1893–1927), co-founder of the Rot-Blau group of artists.
After training as a stonemason, Scherer takes a radically new direction around 1924. Inspired by the former Brücke artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, whom he visits several times in Davos, Scherer works for the first time in wood. Until his early death in 1927 he creates around 25 sculptures and over 100 woodcuts.
The new material also brings a stylistic change. With forceful strokes, Sherer hacks out stark visual worlds. His life’s themes of love and compulsion, togetherness and aloneness, angst and excess are sharply intensified in the woodcuts. Alongside striking individual prints, in 1924/25 Scherer produces impressive portfolios on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment and Alexander Blok’s revolutionary poem The Twelve.
This exhibition, realised in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur and the artist’s estate shows five sculptures, 50 major graphic works and 15 reliefs: powerfully worked blocks from which Scherer printed his woodcuts. The presentation is supplemented by the painting Studio Party and a number of drawings. Hermann Scherer’s woodcuts, blocks and sculptures also interact with those of Ernst Barlach (1870–1938) – two tough expressionists in dialogue.
Edited by Marion Heisterberg and Stephan Kunz, with contributions by Margitta Brinkmann, Marion Heisterberg, Wolfgang Kersten, Stephan Kunz and Martin Schwander. 140 pages with 160 illustrations, German, softcover, Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich 2022. €38
Our press material is available in German. If you need information in English, please contact us at mail to the Ernst Barlach Haus.