A painter who created a brilliant oeuvre around 1920, who was feted for his great promise, but who gave up his artistic existence for a life as a tram conductor and is still seen as a insider tip: the Hamburger Carl Lohse (1895–1965) is one of the mavericks of modernist art.
After early support from Alfred Lichtwark, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, followed by studies, military service and captivity, Lohse goes to Bischofswerda near Dresden in 1919 and experiences a veritable rush of creativity: in eighteen months he creates around 130 paintings, as well as making plaster sculptures and drawings.
The young expressionist advances to a remarkable individuality. He paints with virtuosity and vehemence, showing a pronounced feeling for rhythm and colouristic boldness. He experiments impetuously with various visual languages – and makes pioneering achievements. The critics are enthusiastic, but Lohse breaks radically with art and only returns to it years later The extraordinary group of works from 1919/21 remains fascinatingly unique.
Force Fields. The Paintings 1919/21 brings together fifty of Lohse’s major works from important public and private collections. This first solo exhibition for decades – and at the same time the first showing in the city of Lohse’s birth – is an invitation to make a remarkable discovery.
Man with Purple Glasses, 1919/21
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017,
photo: Jürgen Matschie