Our Unrefined Side

Artist:Heinrich Kley
Medium:Watercolor & Graphite on Artist's Paper
Dimensions:Sight Size 10" x 14"
Original Use:Fine Art or Possible Illustration Plate
Price: S O L D
Above: Detail
Above: The assorted cast
Above: Detail

A whimsical and dazzling watercolor by Heinrich Kley titled "Siche Rude Seiten;" loosely translated as "Our Unrefined Side." A splendid cast of characters assembled by this fondly remembered avant-garde, Jugendstil, German Expressionist artist. This is a rare full color example of the artist's work, most surviving pieces by Kley are pen & ink drawings. This evocative painting is rich in humor, technique and imagery.

Heinrich Kley is best remembered today for satirical, despairing, and often obscene images which evinced a maniacal distrust of the industrial revolution and its automatized society. In 1907, a series of remarkable pen & ink drawings appeared in the Munich German Expressionist literary art magazine Die Jugend that captured the growing disillusionment of fin-de-siecle German counter-culture. Kley's scathing and deftly rendered creations resonated with audiences and Kley became a leading interpreter of the follies and vices that beset mankind. Kley's art appeared in the United States in 1937 and caught the eye of Walt Disney & Sketch Artists at the Disney studio, including Albert Hurter, Joe Grant, and James Bodrero. Hurter introduced Kley's work to the Disney Studio and Walt Disney accumulated a collection of the artist's work. The images in Kley's art inspired a number of animated sequences and characters, including Night on Bald Mountain and the dancing animals of Dance of the Hours in Fantasia.

Above: The unrefined nude

In 1947 the "Drawings of Heinrich Kley" was published with a forward by George Grosz. Of Kley, Grosz wrote: "Kley used the pen like the lariat of a temperamental cowboy [and] is great draftsman of animals. Like Walt Disney he humanizes the beasts [...] I am sure that the drawings of Heinrich Kley will be remembered and enjoyed as long as human beings retain the ability to laugh at themselves."

Above: Framed in period wood enameled antique frame
Above: corner notations
Above: Title by Artist "Siche Rude Seiten" or "Our Unrefined Side"

Work is archivally matted and framed in a handsome antique wood frame. There is a pen and ink drawing on the verso with text and German captions and notations as seen.

Above: Verso pen & ink rendering
Above: Verso notations and pen& ink work on sheet


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