Simon Hearnden has returned to the Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley with his popular Berlin Walls exhibition, featuring artists and their stunning post war work from both East and West Berlin this week.
The best represented artist in the exhibition is the late Walter Linder, who perfected the monotype print process that he then hand-pressed onto a sheet of parchment, from oils he had painted on to glass, before then elaborately finishing them. There are also limited edition prints of either 30 or 50. Simon commented, “If people would like to have prints of a different size than is on display I can have them reproduced larger or smaller and they will be part of the limited numbered editions.”
The exhibition also features work by Willibrord Haas, an etchings maker who is now his 80s. His very striking abstract work are etchings with aquatints, produced on big old copper plate presses. He’s been producing these since the late 60s and is still producing. Simon said, “He’s starting to sell of his stock that he was keeping for a rainy day and I’ve bought 25 pieces and they sell very quickly.”
There are two Berlin posters in the exhibition, one is a very famous poster which the Berlin Tourist Authority had produced to attract tourists to Berlin in the 1970s and features The Beatles. The illustration is in the same style as the famous Yellow Submarine but Simon is not sure whether it is the same artist.
Other work includes 2 pieces from Peter Keil, one of the young wild group of artists from the 50s. It is not to everyone taste but the last time Simon had his work in Henley he sold all of his artwork to a Germany couple who wanted them for a new kitchen extension.
The two most sought after pieces are ‘Frau mit Anthurie’ by Elvira Bach which is an artist proof and a stunning silkscreen print by Alexander Camaro from 1959 which is not easily found. Simon describes Elvira as one of the best known Berlin artists still living and working. “She is rather a large, severe demeanour old woman, though a great character. She’s been married few times and had different children from different men. She spends a lot of time in the Caribbean, most of her work is self portrait but empowered – this one she looks like a sylph strong woman.
There is a mixture of originals and prints, various prices up to £2,000 for originals, to mounted prints from £275 and unmounted £100.
Simon added, “Part of the fun of what I do is continuing to go back to Berlin, where for a decade I had property, to explore well-visited and new haunts, to see what I might unearth. I love nothing more than discovering the works of an artist I think collectable, brilliant or just plain quirky. If there is a story to the artist so much the better, but if there is no known history I get to work to see what I can uncover about the artist.
I trust my eye after 30 years in the creative art world, and then put everything in to getting the artists work out to as many events or galleries as I can manage, often bringing the artist with me, if I or we think it will generate more interest. Walter Lindner continues to sell best for me and creates a buzz wherever his works are shown, so he is still my main artist and I always put a few of his finest works in to an exhibition. After 14 years now associated with his work I continue to believe the man to be a technical and creative genius. Like Picasso he worked effortlessly, prolifically and quickly, so there is a wonderful energy and humour in his work, and sometimes a dollop of melancholy.”
The exhibition runs until 3 November and is open daily between 11.00-5.00pm with Covid safe procedures and social distancing measures in place.