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Pawel Kontny
Modernist Abstract Expressionist Watercolor Painting Bauhaus Weimar Pawel Kontny

$1,000

About

Abstract watercolor composition bearing the influence of the earlier color-block compositions of Paul Klee. Pawel August Kontny, (Polish-German-American artist) He was born in Laurahuette, Poland, in 1923, the son of a wealthy pastry shop owner. In 1939 he began studying architecture in Breslau where he was introduced to the European masters and to the work of some of the German Expressionists, soon afterward banned as "degenerate artists" and removed from museums throughout Germany by the Nazi regime. His studies were interrupted by World War II. Drafted into the German army, traveling in many countries as a soldier, he sketched various landscapes but in 1945, he was captured and held as a prisoner of war in Italy. After the war, he studied at the Union of Nuremberg Architects to help design buildings to replace ones destroyed in the war. He recorded his impressions of the local population and the landscapes through his watercolors and drawings. Pawel Kontny thereafter moved to Nuremberg, Germany, becoming a member of the Union of Nuremberg Architects and helping to rebuild the city's historic center. He soon decided to concentrate on his professional art career. He married Irmgard Laurer, a dancer with the Nuremberg Opera. Pavel Kontny 's career as an artist was launched with his participation in an all German exhibition, held at the Dusseldorf Museum in 1952. He held one-man shows in Germany, Switzerland and the United States. During his trip to the United States in 1960, Kontny became instantly enamored with Colorado, and decided to relocate to Cherry Hills with his wife and two children. He quickly established himself in the local art community, being affiliated for a time with Denver Art Galleries and Saks Galleries. His subject matter became the Southwest. During this time he received the Prestigious Gold Medal of the Art Academy of Rome. His extensive travel provided material for the paintings he did using his hallmark marble dust technique. he also worked equally in pastel, watercolor, charcoal and pencil-and-ink. in a style which merged abstraction and realist styles, influenced by Abstract Expressionist painting and South Western American landscapes. In the early 1960s he was one of only a few European-born professional artists in the state, a select group that included Herbert Bayer (1900-1985), a member of the prewar Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, Germany, and Roland Detre (1903-2001), a Hungarian modernist painter. As a Denver, Colorado resident, Pavel Kontny exhibited at galleries and museums throughout the United States, Germany and Japan. There, he was inspired by frequent trips to Native American pueblos in the Southwest, as well as by the study of the Plains Indians of Montana and Wyoming. Over the years Kontny had a number of students and generously helped young artist by hosting exhibitions at his Cherry Hills home. For many years he generously donated his paintings to support charitable causes in Denver. Influences during his European years included German pastelist C.O. Muller, German Informel painter Karl Dahmen and Swiss artist, Hans Erni. In the early 1950s his painting style showed the influence of the Die Brücke (The Bridge), a group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905 who had a major impact on the evolution of modern art in the twentieth century in Germany. By the middle of the decade his style incorporated more referential abstraction and total abstraction, resulting in part from his study of Hans Hartung, a German artist based in Paris who exhibited his gestural abstract work in Germany. The American moon landing in 1969 inspired Paul Kontny to create Cosmic, the first of his many abstract compositions of the universe, an oeuvre also figuring prominently in Vance Kirkland’s creative output. He traveled widely as well, visiting the major museums in Germany, France, Spain and England and searching for subject matter in Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece and North Africa. By the time he arrived in Denver, he had an impressive European resumé of affiliations with the Schöninger and Stenzel Galleries in Munich, and shows at galleries and museums in Dusseldorf, Essen, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Basel and St. Moritz. The Little Studio and Seidenberg Gallery in New York also had exhibited his work. Paul Kontny 's work is included on various private and corporate collections and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

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