Franz Heckendorf 125 Jahre

!! 125th !!
Franz Heckendorf
1888 — 2013

In pursuing his already early setting in exemplary artistic creativeness through the decades Hans Vollmer’s judging as the lexicographic interpreter of modern art pure and simple is confirmed, by which he catapulted the 35-year-old Franz Heckendorf (Berlin 1888 – Munich 1962) in Thieme-Becker 1923 into the center of the young ones, that is “‘to spiritualize everything that is optically visible and translate it into the sphere of the visionarily seen’, which means the

accomplishment  of  the  program  of  modern  expressionism ,

of  which  H .  is  one  of  the  most  persuasive  evangelists … ”

One of the most talented exponents of the young German generation of artists, whose personal style found its most mature expression so far in his landscapes filled by enormous dynamics of pictorial rendering and carried by strong inwardness of perception”. The entry besides of the same size as the one on Heckel, with whom he, just as Kirchner, too, shares his essentially autodidactic maturing. Just as the ostracism as degenerated. From which to emerge like a phoenix from the ashes nevertheless was not granted to him. So his redemption is long in coming yet. For only too convincing what has been qualified about his work from earliest up to present literature as breathlessly as the characteristic style of his palette itself. Up to the emphasis of the importance not least of his “great travels through Europe and (the) study of the old masters in the museums” by Horst Ludwig in the catalog to the solo exhibition of Galerie Hagemeier 1985. For, so Vollmer continuing,

“ Making a hard, yet very expressive contour the graphic basis of his compositions, he creates by an erratically abrupt juxtaposition of his frequently even brutally rich, glowing local colors, which part themselves as consciously from any realistic depiction as the flow of his lines, a

vehemently  accelerated  natural  impression .

The suggestion of movement which radiates from his landscapes

over  which  it  flickers  like  sheet  lightning

results  from  the  roaring  momentum  of  its  pictorial  structure ,

in which far less an outwardly excited mood of the respective natural situation than the inward excitement of the creating artist is expressed, thus these landscape visions transport a quite subjective character … . ”

And it is a sheer fascination how this œuvre spans beginning and late period without a break. With Vollmer’s resume

“ Coping  with  all  techniques  and  an  exceedingly  easily  producing  talent .”



Thieme-Becker XVI (1923), 211 f.; Vollmer II (1955), 400; AKL LXX (2011), 513 f.

Kestner Museum Hanover, (Catalogs of Special Exhibitions) XVII, 1918; Joachim Kirchner, Franz Heckendorf, 1919, & Neue Bilder von Franz Heckendorf in Biermann (ed.), Jahrbuch der jungen Kunst 1924, 190 ff.; Cicerone, vols. 1912-1928, here particularly XVI (1924), 802 f.; Feuer II, 1 (1920/21), 195-202; Franz Heckendorf, Catalog of the Special Exhibition Gallery Hagemeier, Frankfort/Main, 1985; (Symphony in Color), exhibition catalog of Kunstfreunde Bergstraße, 1991; Rainer Zimmermann, (Expressive Realism / Paintings of the Lost Generation), 1994, 384.

Gisela Hauss (ed.), (Migration, Flight, and Exile as Reflected by Social Work), 2010, 192 f.; Winfried Meyer, (Nazi Justice against Jew Helpers: “Destruction by Work” instead of Death Penalty. The Judgement of the Special Court Freiburg im Breisgau against the Berlin Painter Franz Heckendorf and its Execution). In: Wolfgang Benz (ed.), (Almanac for Anti-Semitism Research) XIX, 2010, 331-362.


Expressively Shining South

Mediterranean Landscape. Charming little town on the coast with lots of bays on the foot of a mountain ridge. Front right

dominating  djami  (kullijet)

with  pointed , very  slender  tower

as typical for the Turkish minarets, rising above and into the mountains, along with sherifs running around for the muezzins, as generally

the  whole  arrangement  of  the  mosque ,

comprising a tower-like further building and ascending over the town,

is  grasped  pictorially  beautifully .

Further boats + faceless figurines, among these mule rider. Watercolor over pencil. Inscribed with the latter lower right: Franz Heckendorf (19)39. 15⅝ × 19⅛ in (39.7 × 48.7 cm).

Franz Heckendorf, Mediterranen Landscape with Minaret

Marvelously  color-fresh  work

with the proverbial “strong, shining local colors” from the for Heckendorf that determining group of the mountainous southern landscape, based on the “study stays in … Italy, Dalmatia and Asia Minor … Applies himself beside oil painting also to pastel and watercolor … The most mature what Heckendorf has created so far (1923) are his landscapes … especially, however, the landscapes he had the occasion to paint during World War (I) as combat pilot at the eastern front,

on  the  Balkans , at  the  Bosporus  and  at  the  Tigris ”

(Vollmer in Thieme-Becker and in Vollmer resp.).

The figuration, as frequently with him, subordinated intentionally-visibly by (non)faces devoid of contours. With reference to Kirchner’s street figures Peter Bürger shall speak generations later

of  “mask-like  simplified  lineaments”

as  expression  of  “general  unrelatedness”

(“Saunters overstretch the Town … Kirchner and the Mannerism” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung July 23, 2001). But already Hogarth made use of this stylistic method of in the end Biblical origin by way of “Times I” (1762) in the person of Lord Temple, that is not to make a picture, just as likewise the children of orthodox Mennonites play with faceless puppets.

„ Pupil of the instruction class of the Berlin Museum of Applied Arts and the Academy, but essentially autodidact (just as the contemporaries Heckel + E. L. Kirchner and like these starting from impressionism). One of the most talented exponents of the young generation of German artists … Coping with all techniques and an exceedingly easily producing talent … besides oil painting H. applies himself to pastel, watercolor, and lithography … ”

(Vollmer). With a characteristic shining out of itself. Just as here then, too.

Offer no. 14,776 / price on application

Maritime South —
Heckendorf’s South

Mediterranean Harbor (Trieste?). Dominating the harbor basin on the right a French steamship with loading gear, before beside one & two-mast coastal sailing vessels further smaller steam vessel. On the pier in front as well as aboard two of the sailboats boatmen figurines, on the left dinghy and, beside two further sailboats, vista of the town situated at the foot of the ridge in the background. Tempera on white ground on fiberboard. Inscribed lower right: F. Heckendorf 1949. 31½ × 39⅛ in (80 × 99.5 cm). Framed.

Verso remains of an old gummed label with typewritten designation “HAFEN VON T(?)..E(?)S.”. – Particularly the corners a little bumped, in the sky part along the upper edge few small color split-offs, otherwise excellent. – The 3-piece wooden ivory and black painted frame modeled on one such of a further Heckendorf painting here, worked presumably by the artist himself.

Franz Heckendorf, Mediterranean Harbor (Trieste)

Harbor views and landscapes resp. occur – though mostly of smaller size – throughout Heckendorf’s œuvre. So for instance more recently on the market the atmospheric watercolor from 1927 Harbor of Marseilles and the Harbor in Southern France from a sketchbook of 1944. Or the large-sized painting Industrial Port in the 1985 exhibition Hagemeier from 1952. From the same year also the watercolor Southern Harbor Landscape picking up again the steamship here.

Splendidly  color-strong  work

after a sketch in pencil and color pastel of 1941 created as snapshot on the spot, defined by the ochre of the two steamships and the pier and the blue of water & sky. With characteristic shining out of itself as in turn reflection of, exactly, the “visionarily seen”. So then also most strikingly put into a nutshell – adopting Kirchner almost verbatim – by Rainer Zimmermann in the catalog of Kunstfreunde Bergstraße:

“ The process of spiritualization, which the artist creates by the color but also by rhythm and line, is to be perceived doubtlessly most easily in his landscapes.

By  the  selection  of  the  colors  the  whole  passionate  verve

of  his  exuberant  temperament  finds  its  highest  satisfaction .

Visionary light effects complete the charm.

His  colors  glow , jerk , and  flash

or are full of dark melancholia ”

(op. cit., page 11; spacing & centering not in the original).

Allied here with special painting technique. For

“ Unvarnished  tempera – as here – is … in  brightness  superior  to  oil  paint …

The tones … appear … more ravishingly in drying. The material presents more casual charm than the oil paint ”

(Max Doerner, [The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting], 14th ed. revised by Hans Gert Müller [1976], p. 119).

Offer no. 29,000 / price on application

Franz Heckendorf 1949


“Visionary Light Effects
complete the Charm”

Lugano. Garden café at the lakeside, dominated by detached open pergola whose dark pole wood stands for the “dark trunks (important to him) which create deep spatiality and highly rhythmize the space” (Horst Ludwig). Watercolor and gouache over black chalk. Inscribed lower right in pencil: F. Heckendorf / (19)56 / Logano (sic!, over first Ascona, of whose lake promenade an also formatwise similar work of the same year exists). 14⅛ × 18⅞ in (35.8 × 47.8 cm).

See also the same scenery seen from a different angle of the painting listed as Garden Café 1956 (fiberboard, 31½ × 23⅝ in [80 × 60 cm], inscribed lower left: F. Heckendorf 56) of the color cover illustration of the 1985 Hagemeier catalog as well as the further oil Garden Café of the same year there (pp. 40 f.) together with a not dated chalk drawing pp. 22 f. With respect to its opposite elevations further an oil of 1921 listed as Bustling Harbor Bay (wood, 10⅝ × 12¾ in [27 × 32.5 cm], inscribed lower left: F. Heckendorf. 21.) and a watercolor Bathers in Southern Landscape of 1951 (19¾ × 25⅜ in [50 × 64.5 cm], inscribed lower left F. Heckendorf 51) as on the market in the 1990s could be referred to.

On slightly grained beige thin watercolor board. – Upper edge on the subject side with ignorable remaining traces of adhesive from previous framing, otherwise excellent.

Marvelously  color-fresh  work

Franz Heckendorf, Lugano

with  the  proverbial

“ strong , shining  local  colors ”

With respect to the watercolor technique here otherwise applies to Heckendorf no less than to Schmidt-Rottluff:

“ In the art of our century the watercolor has its own, still unwritten history which it owes above all to German artists; they helped it to a power unknown before by which it – also by its dimensions – manifests itself as

an  autonomous  species  beside  the  painting .

To those who liberated the watercolor from its serving role of the coloring of drawings, to which it was cut down again and again in spite of Dürer’s, Turner’s, and Cézanne’s creations, Schmidt-Rottluff belongs to ”

(Gunther Thiem, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 1969, p. 13).

Just as, it may be repeated, the coeval Heckendorf. Here then, moreover, ravishingly beautiful :

“ Lugano ”  —  in  its “ wonderful  situation  on  Lake  Lugano ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, 4th ed., X [1889], 996).

Offer no. 15,618 / price on application

1888 — 2013
125 Years Young
Franz Heckendorf

Thus come across more of them …

“ Received the (original Ridinger printing) plate yesterday. Much Thanks from a satisfied customer. You are a True Gentleman … All the Best! L… F. ”

(Mr. L. A. F., November 5, 2003)