Adolf Hölzel
Drei Akte, 1908/09

Adolf Hölzel was a pioneer of abstract art in Germany since he worked as professor at the Stuttgart academy from 1906 to 1919. His later prominent pupils developed his theories of color, line and form further as a basis abstract 20th century art. When looking at Hölzels early paintings it is hard to understand at first how there could be a path from here to the stereometrically reduced quality of the figures in pictures by Oskar Schlemmer via Willi Baumeister’s surreal color forms to the mathematical pictures of an artist like Camille Graeser. But it is the case: the key is to be found in Hölzel’s austerely rational figure compositions and the reduced surface structure of his pictorial backgrounds on the one hand, and then in the systematic of his theory and lectures as academy teacher, based on color theories and formal developments. In Drei Akte [Three Nudes] Hölzel arranged the bodies as if they were an imaginary triangle in pyramid form. The linear structured color forms are already anticipating the later purely abstract works.

Adolf Hölzel

* 1853 Olmütz/Moravia, CZ
† 1934 Stuttgart, D
Adolf Hölzel
Komposition (Glasfensterentwurf), 1932
Pastel on paper

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