Meet Astra the lion!
German Expressionist Helmut Andreas Paul Grieshaber, known as Grieshaber HAP (1909 1981) loved worked in woodcuts, and here is a particularly fine and rare example of his work. Numbered 27 of only 50 examples and dating from 1963, the woodcut is referenced as "Astra - Weisse Wolke" (Astra, White Cloud" ) n Margot Furst's Catalogue Raisonn of prints of the artist under the no. 63/5.
Grieshaber was born in Rot an der Rot. In 1926, aged 17, he started an apprenticeship at a printer's in Reutlingen. A free spirit from a young age, he used his free time to study art in nearby Stuttgart.
He then travelled extensively, spending time in Paris, London, the Middle East and Greece. In the early years of the Nazi regime, from 1933 until 1940, Grieshaber was banned from his profession. During that time he scraped a living as an untrained labourer in the town of Reutlingen. He spent the war years unwillingly in the German army and, as a prisoner of war, doing forced labour in Belgian mines. After the war he returned to Germany, living in a small cottage on the Achalm mountain, and concentrated on doing woodcuts and posters. Between 1955 and 1960 he taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe as successor to Erich Heckel.
Grieshaber was a long-time pacifist and political activist, not only against the dictatorships in Greece and Chile, but also in the area of conservation and ecology, against nuclear plants, and in favour of a bridging between the two Germanys.
Grieshaber was honoured with numerous prizes and retrospective exhibitions. He exhibited works at the documenta in 1959 and 1964. In honour of his 70th birthday in 1979, major retrospectives took place in museums in both parts of Germany.
Our very special woodcut has its fill margins, with an overall size of 33,5 x 25,5 cm. The aperture of the mount is 20.5 x 25 cm. The overall framed size is 29 x 39 cm
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