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Frauen am Tempel. (Women at the Temple). 1908. Linoleum cut. Lang 20. 13 3/4 x 9 3/4 (sheet 23 1/2 x 18 3/8). Edition size not stated. Lang was unable to obtain an image of this early state for the catalogue. He illustrates only the 1965 edition with the title in woodcut added in the blank space lower left. A rare working proof, retouched by the artist with his ink changes. Printed on on soft antique japan, with ample margins. Signed "Heinz Ehmsen," dated and annotated "D.dorf" (Dusseldorf) in pencil. $500.
Satyr (also Liebesleben) 1907. Woodcut ( Lang classifies the work as a linocut). Lang 13. 6 1/16 x 6 912 1/2 x 10 1/4). Edition about 8. A proof on soft antique japan, ample margins, initialed and dated in the block; signed "Heinz Ehmsen," dated, and annotated "holzschnitt" (woodcut) by the artist in pencil, as is characteristic of the early impressions. A glowing impression of this rare image. $450.
Der Teufel (The Devil). 1906/07. Woodcut with hand coloring. Lang 2. 8 7/8 x 8 9/16 (sheet 22 1/8 x 17). Edition size unknown. Printed on heavy card with laid lines, ample margins. Initialed in the block, and signed "Heinz Ehmsen" in ink, beneath the image lower right, as is characteristic of the early impressiosns. Lang (p. 68) states that early impressions carry the signature Heinz Ehmsen; whereas later impressions carry only the signature 'Ehmsen'. Inscribed and dated in pen by the artist. An uncatalogued and perhaps unique hand colored example. $750.
Trauernde. (Mourning). Linoleum cut. Lang 6. Edition about 15. 7 x 9 5/16 (sheet 8 5/8 x 10 7/8).Printed on soft antique japan, with ample margins. Signed "Heinz Ehmsen," and annotated "D.dorf 1909" in pencil. An early printing of this rare image. $450.
Ehmsen was born in Kiel on August 9, 1886. He apprenticed in decorative painting and studied extensively into his early twenties. He served on the frontlines in WWI and created his best-known work "The Execution" shortly after the war. Ehmsen met his companion Lis Bertram while teaching at an art school. He spent nine months in the Soviet Union with Bertram in 1923 and his work changed from landscapes and portraits to the politically charged themes of war, revolution and big city life. He moved to Berlin in 1929 and subsequently joined the November Group. In 1933 he was taken into custody because of his contacts with the Communist party. His work was declared "degenerate" in 1937 and was removed from fifteen public collections. He served in the propaganda division during WWII, but began painting pictures of ruins, refugees and concentration camps shortly thereafter. His travels abroad with Bertram led to the creation of portraits, pictures of his travels and anti-war themes. After battling a long illness, he died on May 6, 1964.
Continental Fine Prints.
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