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

(Sandra Burkhardt, Miriam Rainer)

Pretext: “Pink”

In front of the pink wall: a bowl of fruit containing apples and pears, an obscenely shaped vase, carafe, a figure, nude woman on pedestal, Frau (Woman) from 1913, silent figure from elsewhere, or from the inspiration, wooden sculpture covering her mouth with her right hand, a wooden panel, a wooden board in the shape of a large leaf, a wooden piece from the Waldorf School bazaar leaning against the wall, an ornamental net with a fish hanging in it, macramé or metalwork, also leaning or otherwise hung, above it a window view to the outside, a painting, a door in a hill standing ajar, empty tomb, resurrection of the larger-than-life-sized baby, lying naked with arms raised in the meadow or floating in a river, a cuckoo clock, no, a kalimba, ominous box, above it two close-ups of railroad tracks… or abstract paintings, maybe?

In front of the pink wall: Inventory, shopping list, possessions. The sorts of things one has stored in one’s own house. Things you live with.

And in front of the canvas: Miriam, Marwa, Dilek and Sandra.

A painting showing a plundered ethnographic collection, a painting of objects violently stolen, or also a painting of items that refer to those very artefacts, a painting by someone who was himself robbed, and who saw himself as liberated in 1953, but who had still counted himself “among the Führer’s followers” in 1934 and had signed the Aufruf der Kulturschaffenden (Call to the Artists), a declaration by German artists of their loyalty to Adolf Hitler; someone who was and stayed silent, who had already left this painting behind, a painting like that: and just how does one convey such a thing? Canonised images and images that colonise, what about them can and how might they be returned, restituted?

To leave the painting for a moment is to allow ourselves to forget Heckel in conversation and remember the picture differently. To allow something of the experience with and of it, to get something out of it. To take something from it: Items. Positions, things. And also: item, Latin: moreover, in addition. Also this and that and this, too. And you and them. In front of the canvas, dissecting the “pink” wall as guise, as objection, as guest list of the absent, of all who objected to or rejected the invitation:

In front of the pink wall: Rosa Schapire, hand to her lips, a so-called “passive” member of the Brücke in 1913, collector and great champion of these men’s work, she later suffered anti-Semitic persecution and expropriation as a Jew, and Heckel never said a word, and Rosa Luxemburg ended up silent too, though still alive when the Brücke was active, that was before they tossed her into Berlin’s Landwehr Canal in January 1919, a time when Heckel probably felt allied with the November Group and also the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, both socialist groups with politics close to Luxemburg’s circles, Rosa drifting, Rosa, which Heckel leaves out, and also Rosa from Kafka’s short story A Country Doctor” from 1917, whose first and perhaps only spoken sentence is “One doesn’t know the sorts of things one has stored in one’s own house” and who, in the course of the story, becomes another of these barely noticed things in the country doctor’s house; Rosa, invisibly present, lost, we can only imagine the violence that befalls her.

Heckel spreads out pictorial things in front of us, shows us what he has stored; perhaps he thinks he knows what he is showing us, thinks he has a certain power over what he is displaying, and yet at the same time we bring a different knowledge to what is shown; it could be that we see or remember things he had no intention of showing us, none whatsoever.

(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