Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze)

Berlin, 1913 – Paris, 1951

In 1932 he moved to Frankfurt to study anthropology, but soon abandoned his studies and left for Berlin to enrol at the Bauhaus, where he met Mies van der Rohe and László Moholy-Nagy. On the advice of the latter he settled in Paris and through him made contact with the city’s artistic circles. He produced his first paintings – inks and watercolours – during this period, and worked as a photographer. He travelled to Barcelona in late 1933 and subsequently to Ibiza, where he lived until the autumn of 1934. In 1937 he was appointed official photographer of the International Exposition in Paris. Wols was interned upon outbreak of the 2nd World War, but in 1946 began working with oils and exhibited a year later in the Galerie Drouin displaying a gestural style, with the paint applied in layers and scratches on the surface. In 1947 he illustrated books by Jean-Paul Sartre, Franz Kafka, Jean Paulhan and Antonin Artaud. He participated posthumously in the I-III Documenta exhibitions in Kassel. His work features in the collections of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo), and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), among others.

Works in the collection