• Franz Gertsch
    Fritz, 1948 (1997)
    Holzschnitt, 19.2 x 13.7 cm
    Handabzug 3 6/27 auf Kumohadamashi-Japanpapier von Heizaburo Iwano, 27 x 35 cm
    Besitz des Künstlers
    © Franz Gertsch

Franz Gertsch. Early Woodcuts

Having already devoted the large-scale exhibition “Cut in Wood—Franz Gertsch. The Donation” to Franz Gertsch’s post-1986 woodcuts from September 2014 to February 2015, the time has now come for the Museum Franz Gertsch to present a selection of his earlier woodcuts.

The museum is very proud to have received a set of Franz Gertsch’s woodcuts as a gift of the artist. The sixty early prints date from the 1940s and 1950s and were produced in conjunction with his artists books, for example “This und Weit” (1950) and “Ein Sommer” (1954), which were printed in editions of about 200 copies each and feature pictures and texts by the artist.

The booklet “This und Weit”—according to Samuel Vitali a coming of age novel (2005)—contains 32 small-format woodcuts while “Ein Sommer” tells a love story. The exhibition also features a selection of woodcuts from Franz Gertsch’s third artist book “Begegnung” (1957). These works by the young artist are still imbued with a romantic view of the world; recalling fairy tales and dreams, they address the theme of love between young people.

The series exhibited here are reprints on Japan paper manufactured by Heizaburo Iwano and printed in 1997 by Jürg Kretz in an edition of 27 numbered impressions. This new edition made from the still existing original printing blocks seemed advisable at that time as the artist books themselves were almost entirely out-of-print.

In keeping with the time when the woodcuts were made, the Museum Franz Gertsch is also exhibiting the artist’s early painting “Das Veilchenkörbchen” [The Basket of Violets] (1954).

The exhibition was curated by Anna Wesle in collaboration with the artist.

Franz Gertsch. Early Woodcuts

The Museum Franz Gertsch exhibits a selection of Franz Gertsch’s early woodcuts from the 1940s and 1950s in the Print Room.