Karl Hofer (born in 1878 in Karlsruhe, died in 1955 in Berlin) was a German painter and graphic artist. After completing his studies with Hans Thoma and Leopold von Kalckreuth in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, he resided regularly in Paris and Italy. He taught at the State School of Free and Applied Arts Berlin-Charlottenburg and joined the managing committee of the Berliner Secession in 1928. Several important exhibitions took place in Mannheim and Berlin; a single exhibition was devoted to Hofer's work at the Venice Biennale. Beginning in 1933, the National Socialists forbade the artist to continue creating and exhibiting. His works were confiscated and labeled "degenerate". In 1943, his body of work was almost entirely destroyed in a bombing attack. In 1945, he began working as the director of the College for Visual Arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg and became a proponent of the realist tradition.
Hofer's oeuvre maintains a unique position in the history of modernism. His most persistent creative goals seem contradictory: on one hand, he strove toward an ideal, classical form; on the other, toward an "unadorned" depiction of the real world.
Official website of the Karl Hofer estate:
Karl Hofer bequeathed 17 sketchbooks. Another six burned when bombs hit his workshop on March 1, 1943. Of them only a few individual sheets remain. Thus this part of his creative work is currently represented by 641 sketches. The sketchbooks, which have not yet been published, deign a completely new look on the oeuvre of the significant German artist. They originated between 1910 and the 1950s. It is only here where Hofer faces - privately and at the same time detached from all responsibilities - himself, turned towards his conduct. In the sketchbook he is able to put down his deepest sentiments, feelings, struggles, and objections, his incentives and decisions - without having to make allowances for anything or anyone.
Ed. Markus Eisenbeis
650 b/w depictions
8 colour plates
Price: € 49 (plus shipping costs)
In April 2008 VAN HAM Art Publications casts a new light on the work of the renowned painter and graphic artist Karl Hofer(1878-1955), for this month marks the publication date of the extensive catalogue raisonné of paintings by Karl Hofer.
The author Karl Bernhard Wohlert conceived a three-volume complete overview of 2.900 paintings. The first volume deals with the generous illustrations of the main works, the second volume presents the catalogue raisonné. The third volume conatins the rest of the catalogue raisonné as well as an extensive bibliography, a list of exhibitions and several concordance listings.
The oeuvere of Karl Hofer extends over a period of 57 years between 1898 and 1955, an extremely interesting and fascinating period marked by the transition from classicism to classic mordernism.
Ed. Markus Eisenbeis
3 Volumes contains
ca. 1.000 pages
2.500 b/w depictions
200 colour depictions
plus a CD with extensive footage
Price: € 99,95 (plus shipping costs)
In addition, the summer of 2012 saw the founding of the Karl Hofer Committee. Independent experts with diverse areas of specialization will continue the research and evaluations previously conducted by Karl Bernhard Wohlert. The goal is to continue to be able to adequately respond to all questions regarding Hofer's works. With its work, the Karl Hofer Committee aims to support museums and curators while also establishing a connection between Hofer collectors and the art market. The Committee will also continue Wohlert's work on and extensive research for the much-anticipated publication of the catalogue raisonné of Hofer's watercolors and drawings.
The next committee meeting is on Thursday, 6th October 2016.