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Arts / Entertainment

German surrealist Richard Oelze

September 24, 2010

The University Art Museum's Intimate Gallery will bring to light works by German artist Richard Oelze in an exhibit that opens Friday, Oct. 1. Despite having fallen into relative obscurity both here and overseas, Oelze's work is considered a wonderful example of the Germanic tendency toward interiority, having both artistic and existential qualities.

Richard Oelze's drawings reveal his fascination with the workings of the mind against the backdrop of World War II and the atrocities of Germany's National Socialists.

Exhibit opening, Friday, Oct. 1
Reception, Wednesday, Oct. 13
University Art Museum
Intimate Gallery

The University Art Museum at Colorado State University opens the exhibition Drawing Inward: German Surrealist Richard Oelze on Friday, Oct.1.

The exhibition will remain open through Dec. 17 in the University Art Museum Intimate Gallery, at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington Street. 

Reception/museum hours

A reception for this exhibition, and all fall shows, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7 – 9 p.m. General museum hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and admission is free.

Imaginary landscapes, fantastic objects

Trained at the Weimar Bauhaus in Germany (1921-25), recognized by the surrealists as a kindred spirit in Paris in the 1930s, included in MoMA's 1936 landmark exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, the German artist Richard Oelze has since fallen into relative obscurity on both sides of the Atlantic.  

This exhibition highlights the contemporary appeal of Oelze’s work by featuring drawings and sketches of imaginary landscapes, fantastic objects and figures that he drew in the years following World War II.

Exhibit curated by CSU art history professor

Curated by CSU professor of art history, Eleanor Moseman, Ph.D., the exhibition places Oelze’s work into the context of art and postwar German history. Works by contemporary artists are included in the exhibition, such as Oelze’s life partner, Ellida Schargo von Alten, Joan Miró, André Masson, and Herbert Bayer, to firmly place Oelze in the context of 20th-century European modernism. 

Gallery talk addresses Oelze's work

Moseman will address Oelze’s work in a special gallery talk as part of the University Art Museum’s Tasteful Tuesday series on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 4:30 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.

Oelze's work both artistic and existential

Moseman notes that Oelze’s stakes in the surrealist exploration of the mind are both artistic and existential. In this exhibition she explores Oelze’s understandings of Surrealist practice, the Germanic tendency towards interiority, and the artist’s process of delving inward to explore the workings of the mind, all against the backdrop of postwar Germany’s reaction to the atrocities of the National Socialists.

The Oelze exhibition is made possible by the FUNd at CSU, the Colorado Council on the Arts, the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund and the CSU Department of Art’s Art History program

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603