ERICH HECKEL (1883-1970)
drypoint and engraving, on wove paper, 1914, signed and dated in pencil, from the edition of unknown size, a very good impression, printing with much burr and plate tone, published by J.B. Neumann, Berlin
Image: 934 x 778 in. (248 x 200 mm.)
Sheet: 14 x 1014 in. (356 x 260 mm.)
Dube E122
Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College Museum of Art; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts; The Modern Art of the Print: Selections from the Collection of Lois and Michael Torf, 5 May-14 October 1984, no. 86, p. 146, pl. VIII (illustrated)
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Lot Essay

Portraits and other figural compositions prevail in Erich Heckel’s choice of subjects until about 1911. In that year he made several horizontal landscape compositions that combine trees, water, and figures. The year 1911 also marked the Brucke group's collective move from Dresden to Berlin, where each member achieved greater individuality in style. Of the four original members of the group, Heckel had the greatest sensitivity to landscape. In 1913 he made his first prints in which the landscape dominated the figures that inhabit it.
Heckel depicted this lake in a park twice in 1914: once as a painting and once as a drypaint. The composition is reversed in the drypoint, but the trees bend toward the middle in both; the foliage is generalized as angular clumps and the reflections of the trees in both painting and print appear more tropical than northern European. The lake may be located in a small town in the lower Rhine area called Dillborn, the site of Heckel’s painting Park in Dillborn (1914), or Osterholz, not far from Bremen, where he spent the summer of 1914.
In the painting the trees are disposed with a screen-like flatness across the surface of the canvas, and they focus our attention ona figure who stands on a raft in the center of the lake. The drypoint, on the other hand, has a more open, spacious quality that emphasizes the landscape. The foliage along the upper edge is thinner and the figure on the raft at center has disappeared; in its place, Heckel strengthened the reflection of two tree trunks.
The angular faceted forms Heckel often employed to render elements of landscape (ultimately derived from Cubism) did not always have the exaggerated expressionistic force of those used by some of his German contemporaries. In Lake in a Park, the serene crystalline forms of the leaning trees and their reflections suggest as much the quiet nave of a Gothic cathedral as they do psychological tensions or pictorial dissonances.
Michael M. Floss, The Modern Art of the Print, p. 146

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