Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Yours truly, LH Jungnickel (1881 - 1965)


It's not possible to cover the work of this fertile artist in one post so I'm starting off today with some early bio and a set of postcards he did around 1907 for the Wiener Werkstaette and hope they entertain you as much as they do me. Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel was born in Oberfranken in Bavaria, not far from the border with Austria-Hungary but moved with his family to Munich where he eventually studied for a year at the Kunstgewerbeschule. Following that he took a typically erractic course through the top art schools of Munich and Vienna with long character-forming trips to Italy and Hungary in between. He left for Italy in 1898.




In Naples and Rome he provided himself with income by drawing portraits for tourists, at the same time gaining access to the Vatican collections through the archaeologist Orazio Maruchi. The authorities were so impressed with the copies he made of the old masters, they suggested a career in church painting and sent him off to the monastery of Tanzberg in Klagenfurt to train. Possibly Jungnickel was biding his time and rather predictably his monastic training didn't last and by 1900 he was working as a graphic designer at the Stollwerck chocolate factory in Cologne. At the end of the day, he was still only nineteen.




His cockeral poster lets us know he had already developped his lifelong affinity with animals. More studying followed and once back in Vienna, he became part of Klimt's circle which brought him into contact with Josef Hoffman, the director of the Wiener Werkstaetter. He began working for them in 1908 though was never made a member.


The set of six postcards would have been made some time after that. Everyone made them, including Hoffman, Kokoschka and Jungnickel's friend Egon Schiele. I include one of Schiele's efforts (above) because you can see just what happened to one idea ie a young woman in an overlarge hat. Schiele is of course a master, no doubt about that, and very po-faced, but his postcards are more or less mini-paintings while Jungnickel took the opportunity of the scale to make small ironic statements that are entirely graphic.
My favourite is the one I've put first - the young lady cowering in front of the indignant blue parrot. The pair of feathers in her hat are a nice touch. All in all, they provide amusing social commentary and acute knowingess about fashionable young ladies. They are also up-to-the-minute. You can just imagine what the monks at Klagenfurt made of him.


Another nice ironic touch is the reluctant little dog and the young lady with the fox muff. Perhaps the dog thinks that he is next. Her velours hat is really quite extraordinary. I can't say for sure what the technique is but I would guess it is line drawing, a sophisticated means of reproduction that was used in Austria and Germany during the Jugendstil/art nouveau and Secessionst period - untill artists began using lino and wood some time after 1905.


Which brings me round to his equally entertaining and quite superb wooodcuts, which he began to make about 1907. They will have their own post very soon. There will be a few more elegant young Viennese but even more of the incorrigible creatures they went to see at the zoo. One thing you can also be sure of - you can just forget all about Koson and Seaby.










11 comments:

  1. "Forget all about Seaby and Koson"?? Hear, hear...

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  2. That's right. Modern Printmakers is going expressionist. And don't tell me you have one of Jungnickel's woodcuts as well. That will upset me!

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  3. Charles -

    Thank you for the continuing education.

    JK

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  4. It's rewarding for me to know people get something out of it, so thanks for reading thus far. But do keep in mind you all have exams after Christmas.

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  5. Charles,
    no need to be upset, I haven't got any of Jungnickel's woodcuts - just a postcard from 1911 ("Kornblumentag") which is a gorgeous design, I think. I must say I don't like all of his animal prints, maybe he is too modern for my taste. And if it has to be more avantgarde, I prefer Bresslern-Roth's works. But I am curious to see your next post, maybe you can make me change my mind. By the way: my collection of prints is very modest, to be painfully honest.

    have a good weekend!

    Klaus

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  6. I'm glad you brought up the subject of Bresslern Roth. Gerrie has already mentionned her privately. This means I need a few more days to try and get it right. So, you will have an interlude of Italian neo-realism before we go colour woodcut on Tuesday. I'm afraid the by now necessary Bresslern Roth follow-up will have to wait untill the New Year. The long holidays intervene!

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  7. Charles, there's no need to rush, I am grateful to be able to participate in your journey through the world of prints (enjoying myself and learning a lot at the same time), and neorealismo sounds molto promising to me!
    As you mentioned Bresslern-Roth again: I happen to own a colour woodcut (don't get upset) which is unsigned, so I don't know the artist, but judging from the quality, the line and the colours, I assume it might be one by Bresslern-Roth. However, I haven't been able to find it anywhere, and I have spent some time researching. It shows a thrush in a bush with berries in yellow-red autumn colours. Have you come across it? And if not, would you have an idea where to look?

    thanks

    Klaus

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  8. So far as I know, all NBR's work was linocut. Plenty of people get the two media mixed up but being linocut is a sign. (Some German-speaking artists had given up colour woodcut before 1918). So style also counts. The description doesn't mean anything to me and as you know NBR almost always did birds and animals in groups.

    The Amsterdam auction house catalogue of colour prints used to be very useful indeed for id. Unfortunately, it's no longer online but I think Gerrie has stashed the lot.

    And it's OK, fortunately a Bresslern Roth I do own and it will be posted before not too long.

    Readers like mystery prints so you could always post it here. If so, send to: cgc@waitrose.com. But I will think on.

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  9. Thank you, Charles. I might actually send you some pictures. And I must admit I'm not sure I can tell the difference between a linocut and a woodcut, though mine looks a lot like a woodcut to me.

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  10. Hi, would you tell me where you found the information on Jungnickel, please? Thank you!:)

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  11. I'm afraid I don't remember.

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