Werner Heldt, Still Life of Houses (Cityscape – Folding Picture), 1954
Werner Heldt, Still Life of Houses (Cityscape – Folding Picture), 1954

Werner Heldt (1904 -1954)

Still Life of Houses (Cityscape – Folding Picture), 1954

Werner Heldt succeeded in depicting the atmosphere of Berlin after the Second World War as few other painters could. His key subjects were Berlin and its architecture. His painting developed from near realistic works to almost abstract pictorial structures.
In his “Still Life of Houses” the buildings resemble houses made of playing cards, and the pictorial space has been transposed fully onto two dimensions. The broken colour tones are lightened by a strong bright green and contrasting pink. A curving line provides a base for the backdrop of houses. The houses appear to float, to sway on this line, even to stagger as if inebriated. The whole image is reminiscent of a boat on the sea. “Berlin by the sea” was one of Heldt’s favourite themes, whereby among other things the sea referred to the fields of rubble and urban waste areas left behind by the Second World War. It was the mood of life in that period – a dance on uncertain ground and departure into a new age.

Still Life of Houses (Cityscape – Folding Picture), 1954
Oil on canvas
Veba Collection 1979

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

 
Copyright © 2011 Berlinische Galerie. All rights reserved.