KARL HOFER (1878-1955)

Biography

Karl Hofer (German, 1878–1955) was an Expressionist painter and graphic artist. Born in Karlsruhe in southwest Germany, Hofer attended the Großherzoglich Badische Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he studied under Robert Poetzelberger, Hans Thoma, and Karl Walter Leopold von Kalckreuth. Dissatisfied with the lack of artistic innovation happening at the academy, Hofer left for Paris in 1900, where he was greatly influenced by the Naïve painting of Henri Rousseau.

In 1903, Hofer traveled to Rome, and was inspired by the Arcadian-based symbolism of Hans von Marées. In 1904, the Kunsthaus Zurich presented Hofer’s first solo show, which later traveled to the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the Folkwang-Museum in Hagen and Weimar.

Hofer went back to Paris for a brief stay in 1908. During this time, his work changed, reflecting the style of artists such as Paul Cézanne and El Greco. In 1913, the artist moved to Berlin. One year later, he was interned in France, and didn’t return to Germany until 1917. He accepted a post as a professor at the Kunstschule in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1921.

Following the rise of Third Reich in 1933, Hofer’s works were labeled "degenerate art," and he was dismissed from his teaching position.

After the war, Hoffer was appointed director of the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste in Berlin, and became an advocate of the Realist tradition.

Today, his works can be found in many collections around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Kunsthalle Mannheim in Germany.





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