Erich Heckel


Vor der rosa Wand

Material / Technique
Bildmaß 87 × 70 cm
Rahmenmaß 96,5 × 78,8 × 3,5 cm
Related Digital Projects
Acquisition details
Erworben 1966 als Schenkung von Erich Heckel
Erich Heckel, Vor der rosa Wand, 1953, Tempera auf Leinwand, Brücke-Museum, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Exhibitions (selection)

Literature (selection)

  • Erich Heckel. Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik aus 50 Schaffensjahren, Ausst.-Kat. Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Duisburg, Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Duisburg 1957.

  • Erich Heckel. Zur Vollendung des 80. Lebensjahrzehntes, Ausst.-Kat. Museum Folkwang, Essen, Essen 1963.

  • Werner Stein, Berlin (Hg.), Verzeichnis der zur Eröffnung ausgestellten Werke September 1967 bis März 1968, Ausst.-Kat. Brücke-Museum, Berlin 1967.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke-Museum Berlin, Malerei und Plastik. Kommentiertes Verzeichnis der Bestände, Hirmer Verlag, München 2006.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Erich Heckel. Der große Expressionist. Werke aus dem Brücke-Museum Berlin, Ausst.-Kat. Stadthalle und Zehntscheuer Balingen, Hirmer Verlag, München 2013.


Signiert unten rechts: Heckel 53 (Signatur)
Rückseitig auf dem Keilrahmen: Erich Heckel Vor der ... [unleserlich] (Bezeichnung)
rückseitig auf dem Rahmen: Heckel. Karlsruhe (Bezeichnung)

Inventory Number

Catalog Number
Vogt 1953 / 3; Hüneke 1953-3

(Isabel Fischer)

About the Work

Erich Heckel, Vor der rosa Wand (In Front of the Pink Wall), 1953

Erich Heckel painted still lifes in every phase of his artistic oeuvre. His own studio and living quarters often served as a backdrop; motifs included objects from his own, immediate surroundings. These works often reflected the artist’s own production, with depictions of pieces he himself had created. The approach culminated in his post-war period after 1945, a phase that resulted in a series of nostalgically charged, commemorative still lifes that increasingly featured objects of personal significance to Heckel’s artistic past.

One example is the artist’s 1953 painting Vor der rosa Wand (In Front of the Pink Wall): various objects from Heckel’s domestic environment appear grouped on a flatly painted table top. In the foreground on the right is his well-known wooden sculpture Frau (Woman) from 1913, behind which stands a leaf-shaped tray presumably carved by Heckel himself. In the centre foreground is a yellow bowl containing fruit; next to it, an Arabic jug. Other objects appear on the titular pink wall in the background: on the left, a sansa – an African musical instrument; centred in the upper part of the picture are two graphic works with linear structures. Hanging below them are a figurative painting and a fish form suspended in a net.

The tray, bowl, jug and African plucked instrument are still in Erich Heckel’s former home in Hemmenhofen, where the artist lived starting in 1953. The 1913 sculpture Frau (Woman) has been part of the Brücke-Museum collection since 1966. It was created at the peak of Heckel’s Expressionist sculptural output. Like those of other Brücke colleagues, Heckel’s works in wood were inspired by African sculptures. The artist collected sculptures, masks and other objects from the African continent from as early as the 1910s. Most he procured through his brother Manfred, an engineer who worked in the then-colonial territory known as German East Africa – the largest German colony between 1885 and 1918 – starting in 1912. Manfred might well have been the source of the sansa Henkel depicts along with his Frau (Woman) sculpture. The eye travels diagonally from the sculpture to the sansa, framing the composition. Could this arrangement be an explicit reference to the connection between ideas in Heckel’s own art and those found in the African works?

Heckel attached particular importance to his Frau (Woman) sculpture, which he viewed as a key piece in his oeuvre. This is further evidenced by the fact that she appears in a number of different still lifes, the first created shortly after the sculpture was made in 1913. She features not only in the 1953 painting Vor der rosa Wand (In Front of the Pink Wall), but also in another watercolour with the same title created that same year. What would compel the artist to engage so intensively with that piece – forty years after the sculpture was first made – and consequently with his earlier creative output? Among other things, this memory work might owe something to Heckel’s experience of wartime loss. In 1944, the artist’s studio flat in Berlin was destroyed in a firebombing attack, and with it a number of artworks and personal belongings. Other Second World War losses included works that he had shipped out of the country; it took several years to gather all the works and objects that had survived the war. Some of these can be seen in Vor der rosa Wand (In Front of the Pink Wall).

(Dominique Grisard )
(Isabel Fischer )
About the Work
(Sandra Burkhardt, Miriam Rainer )
Pretext: "Pink"
(ميريام راينر وساندرا بوركاردت )
(Dieter Frey )
Collecting from a psychological perspective
(Marwa ) Memories
(Marwa ) Femininity
(Miriam ) Very first glance
(Miriam ) Stolen
(Miriam ) Dealing
(Sandra ) Magical
(Sandra ) Try hard
(ميريام ، ساندرا ، مروة )
أفكار ذات صلة