Bernhard Heisig 1925 - 2011

Bernhard Heisig 1925 - 2011

Postby CAP » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:59 pm

Well old Bernie has shuffled off. Crazy Kokoschka-esque Expressionist apparently seen as one of the founders of The Leipzig School, a somewhat more painterly version of socialist realism, usually typified by Wille Sitte, et al. And not to be confused with famous conductor Bernard Haitink. At some point Neo Rauch studied under Heisig, although Bernie must have been getting on a bit. So a little deflected glory there, although hard to see much in the way of influence. Maybe it was more one of reaction against, by Rauch. He would be diffident and cool where Bernie ran hot, hot, hot.

Anyway, on a personal note I remember the great wave of Neo-Ex painters from Germany at the end of the 70s, start of the 80s, and at the time, to match that cultural push, East Germany (DDR) mounted a show of its own top painters, at The Barbican, sometime in the early 80s, I forget exactly. Anyway, I went along, thinking it was going to be all squat, muscular workers in grimy jobs, manfully driving the communist bandwagon, but actually it was a really diverse collection from slick Post-Dix Durerism by Werner Tübke through to semi-naïve or highly stylized mystical erotica, passable but uninspired portraits and even abstract stuff. But still, it was pretty humdrum in comparison with the Cologne blitzkrieg of Kiefer, Immendorf, Penck, et al. The one thing that did stand out for me was this really vigorous, medium-sized painting (maybe 4 ft X 3) of wartime mayhem titled something like The Day of Our Civic Duty – showing Russian planes attacking some big bridge and all these manic anti-aircraft gunners going at them – it was more like a cartoon or something from MAD magazine, it was so over-the-top and I thought it was the only piece in the whole show that really had attitude – and technique! It was a bit like this. I was stunned to learn it was in fact, by an old school Expressionist – one Bernhard Heisig – and at the time I thought, well he’s a voice in the wilderness there, too bad he’ll never be recovered…

LITTLE WAS I TO KNOW!!!!............... 8-)

Bernhard Heisig 1925 - 2011
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For more on Bernie see the excellent entry.
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