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1909 Rot an der Rot – 1981 Eningen


Schwäbisches Krippenbild [Swabian Nativity Scene]- 1977


Woodcut in silver on black paper. Size of sheet: 67.5 x 61.3 cm. Signed and numbered. Edition of 100.


Literature: Fürst, 1984 (77/53).



HAP Grieshaber: Schwäbisches Krippenbild

  • Inspired by the medieval origins of German art and the Utopian principles of his Expressionist predecessors, Grieshaber’s work resurrects the woodcut, reinventing an ancient technique.

    At the age of 17, Grieshaber began an apprenticeship as a book printer and typesetter. Between 1931 and 1933, he worked shortly in London as an illustrator and graphic artist for 'Vogue' and other journals and in 1932 he continued to Egypt and Greece, where he organised exhibitions of his works in different cities.

    Starting 1932, Grieshaber began concentrating on woodcutting technique and soon it became one of his most important artistic mediums. He discovered his typical graphic style in the so-called 'Reutlinger Drucke', a style which is strongly influenced by medieval woodcut techniques. After being banned from painting and exhibiting in 1933 by the Nazis, Grieshaber was only able to exhibit his works secretly.

    After the war, the artist was offered a teaching post at the Bernsteinschule near Sulz am Neckar. Other teaching positions followed: at the Akademie in Karlsruhe as Erich Heckel's successor in 1955 and at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1956. Grieshaber resigned from his teaching post in Karlsruhe in 1960 out of protest against the examination regulations. The artist spent the next two years working for the journal 'Labyrinth' together with Walter Warnach and Heinrich Böll. In 1964 he founded and co-published 'Engel der Geschichte', a journal dealing with current topics of society. He also created artworks for public spaces, such as wooden reliefs, mosaics, murals and stained-glass windows. Grieshaber was honoured with numerous prizes and retrospective exhibitions. He exhibited works at the documenta in 1959 and 1964. He was elected a correspondence member of the Akademie der Künste in East Berlin in 1978.


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