Since 1946, spanning three generations, the Galerie Henze & Ketterer as a family business, has been committed to German Expressionism and manages the estate and archive of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, one of the most important artists of this movement and initiator of the artist group Brücke.
Modern Art, Informel and Abstraction after 1945, New Figuration, and Contemporary Art by painters and sculptors from Italy, Spain, and Germany are the other focal points.
The gallery sees its activities as a constant effort to promote the artists, works, and art fields it represents, which includes not least the acquisition of its own large collections of artworks or entire estates, but also the maintenance of archives on individual artists and a comprehensive library.
Since the early 1970s, the gallery has participated in international art fairs, including Art Basel, FIAC Paris, Art Karlsruhe, Masterpiece London, and to date TEFAF Maastricht and Art Cologne.
Erich Heckel, Mädchen am Meer (Girl at the Sea) (Detail), 1918, Woodcut, 62 x 49 cm.
Erich Heckel, Frauen am Strand (Women at the Beach), 1912, Etching, 35.5 x 47 cm.
Erich Heckel and his Muses
From girlfriends, companions, dancers, actresses to casual acquaintances: In the graphic work of Erich Heckel, a woman is often at the centre. The female body inspired Heckel to create woodcuts, lithographs and etchings, in which he found inspiration for motif and style. Heckel captured his models in various snapshots, showing bathers on the beach, resting in front of a patterned background, a clothed woman in nature or portraits. They all testify to the artist's intense engagement with the theme of femininity - one of the oldest motifs in art - and its translation into modernity. The deliberately angular, rough and reduced contours as well as the dissolution of the perspective of the captured models are regarded as a consistent continuation of the painterly achievements that Heckel developed as a founding member of BRÜCKE. Together with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, he rebelled against rigid bourgeois traditions and found in the female, liberated nude a metaphor for breaking away from conventions. In the direct depiction of his portrayed muse, in the closeness and directness of her human expression, Heckel seems to capture in an explicitly unadorned way a portrait of woman and femininity in modernity. Decades later, the viewer still seems to be immersed in the emotional world and innermost being of the portrayed muse, to share the moment with her directly - the graphic work of Erich Heckel thus counts as an extraordinarily strong result of German Expressionism.