HerbertBeck-EmilNolde_OlafGubranssonMuseum_Foto-EvaWinter_10_SM.jpg

Life and Work

Herbert Beck © Nachlass Herbert Beck

Fascinated by the Expressionists, Herbert Beck developed and perfected his own unmistakable watercolor technique over decades. He worked wet-on-wet on thick laid paper so that the watercolor paint could be applied in thick layers. This creates the intense, glowing, and luminous colors so typical of the artist.

Herbert Beck was born in 1920, the son of a renowned jeweler in Leipzig, and initially trained to take over his father's business as a goldsmith. In the post-war period, however, the family had to flee to the West and he began to paint exclusively. Since 1948 he has lived and worked in Tegernsee, and every year since 1974 he spends several months in Laigueglia, Italy. After a serious illness in 1984, he was forced to abandon oil painting and now only paints with watercolors. He creates unusually large-format works for watercolor painting. In 2010 he died in Tegernsee after a brief illness.

Herbert Beck was essentially an autodidact. In 1952 he met Emil Nolde by chance at the Commeter Gallery in Hamburg. This encounter had a decisive influence on the young artist's painting. He increasingly concentrated on color and developed his own distinct artistic expression: wide landscapes, expressive towering clouds, and flowing floral forms. Another theme is the representation of man and the ambivalence of human existence.

Herbert Beck never adapted to the prevailing art movements of the post-war period; he remained figuratively expressive, even though he explored the limits of abstraction. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in London, Paris, New York, and Beijing.

Biography

1920 born in Leipzig, DE
1936 – 1939 traineeship as goldsmith
1940 – 1945 Military service in a music corps, from 1941 in Russia
1946 – 1948 Teaching at Max Schwimmer at the State Academy for Graphics and Book Art Leipzig, DE
1948 escape from Leipzig to Tegernsee, DE
1952 meeting with Emil Nolde in the gallery Commeter, Hamburg, DE
1953 begins to process his war experiences in apocalyptic images
1958 – 1965 acquaintance and exchange with the gallery owner Hannah Bekker vom Rath (Frankfurt/ Main, DE)
1959 creation of the first expressive landscapes in watercolours
1974 from this year on several months stay in Laigueglia, IT
1979 development of the small, surrealistic »Miniaturen« (miniatures)
1984 severe illness, probably caused by the inhalation of the turpentine in oil painting
1985 after recovery, main focus on watercolour painting
1988/89 acquaintance with gallery owners Ingrid and Leonard Hutton (New York, US)
1992 creation of the mystical group of works »Eigene Welten« (own worlds)
1997 creation of the abstract paintings »Meditative Landscapes«
2000 creation of the group of works »Faces of the World« with expressive, anonymous faces
2010 dies after short illness in Tegernsee, DE

Works (Selection)

Herbert Beck, Die Rufenden, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Die Rufenden, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Landschaft mit Sonnenuntergang, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Landschaft mit Sonnenuntergang, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Drachenboot (Eigene Welten), 1996, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Drachenboot (Eigene Welten), 1996, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Blüten, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Blüten, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Weite Landschaft bei bewölktem Himmel, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Wolkenberge (Eigene Welten), c. 1998, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Farbakkord (Blüten), c. 1963, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Kopf, 2001, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Kopf vor Gelb, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Meditative Landschaft, © Nachlass Herbert Beck
Herbert Beck, Meditative Landschaft, © Nachlass Herbert Beck

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2015 Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2014 Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
2013 Kloster Schussenried, Bad Schussenried, DE
2012 Connaught Brown, London, DE
2009 MIA Art Foundation, Beijing, DE
2007 Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2005 Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2002 Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2000 Galerie Dobe, New York, US
Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart, DE
Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
1999 Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
1998 Studio Pels-Leusden, Berlin, DE
1997 Lesly Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, DE
1996 Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
Kunstmuseum, Ahlen, DE
Kunstsalon Franke, Munich, DE
1995 Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York, US
Galerie Michael Beck, Leipzig, DE
Archeus Fine Art, London, GB
1990 Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart, DE
Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
1989 Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York, US
1986 buk - Buch und Kunst Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
1984 buk - Buch und Kunst Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
1980 Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart, DE
1979 Galerie Wolfgang Schuller, Wertheim, DE
Galerie Helga Thieme, Munich, DE
1973 Weilinger-Haus, Tegernsee, DE
1966 Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart, DE
1961 Gemäldegalerie Utermann, Dortmund, DE
1957 Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris, FR
1956 Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris, FR
1954 Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Dusseldorf, DE
1952 Galerie Commeter, Hamburg, DE
1950 Galerie Roscher, Bad Wiessee, DE
1949 Keilberth-Haus, Tegernsee, DE

Group exhibitions (selection)

2018 Vielen Dank für die Blumen. Accrochage, Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
Herbert Beck trifft Emil Nolde. Inspiration und Umsetzung, Olaf Gulbransson Museum, Tegernsee, DE
2017 Strange Beauty, Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2015 Ein Baum ist ein Baum ist ein Baum, Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, DE
2014 Nolde and Beck, Connaught Brown, London, DE
2003 Herbert Beck und die Klassische Moderne, Galerie Hyna, Rottach, DE
2000 Grenzüberschreitende Farbbewegungen, Museum of Fine Arts, Odessa, UA
1988 en miniature – ausgewählte Kleinformate des 20. Jahrhunderts, Galerie Thomas, Munich, DE
1961 Ajolfi und Beck. Künstler der Galerie, Frankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath, Frankfurt, DE
Freie Münchner und Deutsche Künstlerschaft e.V., Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE
1959 Pintura Alemana Contemporana. Frankfurter Kunstkabinett. Coleccion Hanna Bekker vom Rath, Prado, Madrid, ES
Pintura Alemana Contemporana. Frankfurter Kunstkabinett. Coleccion Hanna Bekker vom Rath, Salas des Santa Catalina, Barcelona, ES
1957 Les arts en France et dans le monde, Rijiksmuseum Museum, The Hague, NL
1955 Herbert Beck und Sepp Mohr, Kunststube, Rottach, DE
1954 Herbert Beck und Ludwig Gschosmann, Olai Kunstsalon, Norrköping, SE
1953 Künstler am Tegernsee, In den Folgejahren regelmäßige Teilnahme, Tegernsee, DE
1952 Galerie Commeter, Hamburg, DE

EXHIBITIONS AT BECK & EGGELING (SELECTION)

Publications

Herbert Beck trifft Emil Nolde

Herbert Beck trifft Emil Nolde

  • Artists: Herbert Beck, Emil Nolde
    Editor: Ute Eggeling, Michael Beck
    Text: Wolfgang Becker, Jörg Garbrecht, Andrea Knop
    Design: Beck & Eggeling (Martina Löhle)
  • English, German
    Hardcover, 28 x 24 cm
    180 pages
  • Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag, 2018
    ISBN 978-3-94606317-9
  • 29,90 €
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Herbert Beck. Miniaturen

Herbert Beck. Miniaturen

  • Artist: Herbert Beck
    Editor: Nachlass Herbert Beck
    Text: Ina Ewers-Schultz, Andrea Knop, Regina Landherr
    Design: Beck & Eggeling (Antonia Eggeling)
  • German, English
    Hardcover, 28 x 24 cm
    150 pages, 179 illustrations
  • Hirmer Verlag, 2014
    ISBN 978-3-77742352-4
  • 29,90 €
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Further publications

bibliography

Herbert Beck trifft Emil Nolde. Inspiration und Umsetzung
Olaf Gulbransson Museum Tegernsee, Düsseldorf, 2018
Herbert Beck. Miniaturen
München, 2015
Herbert Beck. Magie der Farbe
Kloster Schussenried, Düsseldorf, 2013
Herbert Beck. Faces of the World
Mia Art Foundation Peking, Düsseldorf, 2009
Herbert Beck. Von der Landschaft zum offenen Raum.
Gallery Collection Dobe, Leipzig, 2000
Herbert Beck. Eigene Welten
Beck & Eggeling, Leipzig, 1997
Herbert Beck. Retrospektive
Kunstmuseum Ahlen, Leipzig, 1995
Herbert Beck. Ölbilder und Aquarelle
Beck & Eggeling, Leipzig 1995
Herbert Beck, Works on Paper
Archeus Fine Art, London 1996
Herbert Beck. Watercolors
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York 1989

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