20 April 2018 until April 2019
Karl Kluth in Hamburg

Karl Kluth (1898–1972) is represented in the Haspa Collection, which is housed at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG), with a focused selection of paintings and drawings that provide an incisive impression of his work in the Hanseatic City that was his adopted home. The images Kluth produced before 1933 are touched by Symbolism while increasingly verging toward abstraction. The Second World War would form a profound caesura in his art, with Kluth coming to terms with his experiences in his postwar pictures. The works of the late 1950s and the 1960s display his growing enthusiasm for a more loose and open style of painting, a mode that persists in Kluth’s late work. The Haspa Collection at MKG brings together excellent examples from his various work phases. The exhibition Karl Kluth in Hamburg, opening in April 2018, will show over 20 works by the artist.

When Karl Kluth was awarded a travel grant by the Art Academy in Karlsruhe in 1920, he used it to visit Hamburg. With Max Sauerlandt as director of MKG, Gustav Pauli heading the Hamburger Kunsthalle, and its own state art school, the city had an open-minded attitude toward contemporary art. Kluth moved to Hamburg permanently two years later. He received the Lichtwark Award in 1928, and this time used the grant to travel to Norway to visit Edvard Munch. Arranged by Gustav Schiefler, this encounter would have a lasting impact on Kluth’s painting. His landscapes and figure paintings – such as the Seated Female Nude (1930) – betray Munch’s influence in their Symbolist overtones.

Photo: Karl Kluth (1898-1972), Red nude at the sea, 1928, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm © Vera Kluth