Karl Kunz
(1905-1971)

DreiGrazien 1950 Modesalon 1951Chimaren 57 Maschinenstadt 1953 Aufbruch 1954
Frau im Bett 67 Bewegte Stunde 1956 Harlekin Kolumbine 1958 Atelier desBildhauers 59Sofa 1968
Golgatha 66 Galerie 61 Spanisches Golgatha 66 Interieur Exterieur 1967 Sommerfreuden 67
Heidelbg Impressionen I 67 Puppentorso 1967 Figuren Stiefel 1967 Lanzenschlacht 1958 Phallische Turme 1967
 

Karl Kunz (1905-1971) , born in Augsburg, Bavaria, in 1905, was an important German modernist painter. He began his career in Munich, before moving to Berlin in the late 1920s, where he was a freelance artist, and then to Halle, where he worked under Erwin Hahs at the Kunstgewerbeschule Burg Giebichenstein. During the Third Reich his work was declared degenerate (entartet) and he was forbidden to paint by the regime. In 1933 he returned to his family home where he could only paint in secret. In 1944, most of his pre-war works were destroyed in a studio fire during a bombing raid on Augsburg.

In 1946, Kunz was one of the organisers of the multi-venue exhibition Extreme Malerei (Extreme Painting), which sought to show the strengths of the art that had previously been banned as degenerate. He taught masterclasses at the Staatliche Schule für Kunst und Handwerk in Saarbrücken, and in 1954 he represented Germany at the Venice Biennial.

Kunz’s highly original work cannot be pigeonholed. It combines elements of surrealism with complex motifs that draw strongly on the human form. Many of his paintings are multi-layered and allusive interweavings of images of love and death, violence and desire.

Kunz continued to be a prolific painter until his death in 1971 in Frankfurt am Main.

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MadHat, Issue 14, Spring 2013