WOLS  (German, 1913-1951) 

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WOLS (German, 1913–1951) was an important German painter and photographer, whose work was aligned with the art autre movement in postwar Europe. Born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze in Paris, WOLS moved to Dresden with his family in 1919. He was interested in painting from a young age, and was particularly inspired by the work of the German New Objectivity artists, Otto Dix (1891–1969) and George Grosz (1893–1959). WOLS began his artistic career as a photographer’s apprentice in Berlin, where he applied to the Bauhaus school and was advised by László Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian, 1895–1946) to study in Paris, where he moved in 1932. With the eruption of World War II, WOLS—as a German national—was sent to a French internment camp, where his artistic production was limited to small drawings and sketches. He eventually fled the camp, and waited out the war in Montélimar, while trying unsuccessfully to gain entry into the United States. After the war, WOLS returned to Paris, where he had several shows of his watercolors and his photographs. In 1946, he took up oil painting, earning the attention if the prominent critic and artist Michel Tapié (French, 1909–1987), whose interest in his work led to his posthumous reputation as one of the founding artists of art autre. Wols spent the late 1940s struggling with alcoholism and illness, and died of food poisoning in 1951. After his early death, WOLS’ work became influential for younger artists, and was shown at several Kassel documenta exhibitions in the 1950s and 1960s.

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WOLS, La source

 

WOLS
La source
1947

Kunsthandel Wolfgang Werner KG
WOLS, Ohne Titel

 

WOLS
Ohne Titel
Art Forum Ute Barth
WOLS, Untitled

 

WOLS
Untitled
circa 1949

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz
WOLS, Untitled (Cathedral)

 

WOLS
Untitled (Cathedral)
circa 1945-1946

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz
WOLS, Untitled (Tree)

 

WOLS
Untitled (Tree)
1948

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz
 
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WOLS, Composition surréaliste

 

WOLS
Composition surréaliste, 1940
watercolor, ink and graphite on paper

 

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WOLS, Worm (+ Visage; set of 2)

 

WOLS
Worm (+ Visage; set of 2)
etching

 

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WOLS, Etude de dolmens et menhirs (study)

 

WOLS
Etude de dolmens et menhirs (study), 1940
pencil and wash on paper

 

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1913   Born May 27 as Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, Berlin, Germany
1919   Moves to Dresden with his family
1930   Leaves school and is taught privately
1932   Frobenius Institute for Ethnology, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
1951   Dies September 1, Paris, France
1950   Iolas New York
1947   Réalitiés Nouvelles, Galerie du Luxembourg
1947   40 Oil Paintings, René Drouin
1942   Betty Parson New York
1937   (photographs), Paris, France