Karl Hubbuch, Figures on the Street - Original German 1920s graphite drawing


An original 1920s German graphite drawing, Karl Hubbuch Figures on the Street.

This sharply observational drawing by German artist Karl Hubbuch depicts two figures who appear to be down-and-out characters, wrinkled and embattled by the ravages of modern city life. This sketch is a fine example of the art of the Neue Sachlichkeit, or New Objectivity, a German modern realist movement following the First World War.

The drawing most likely dates from the 1920s when Hubbuch was much more active as a draughtsman than a painter. His drawings and prints of the early 1920s depicting city life were sharply realistic in style and highly critical of the post-war social and economic order.

Presented in a pale green window mount. Secured with hinging tape.

Signed lower right.
The drawing is on smooth paper which appears to be a page from a sketchbook. As such, the edges of the paper are slightly raw as shown. There is some minor creasing to the paper and minor abrasion at the lower right of the sheet.
14.9cm x 10cm.

Karl Hubbuch (1891–1979) was one of the leading artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement, who used their art to critique German society in the years following the First World War. He exhibited several drawings and prints, and an oil painting, in the seminal Neue exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Mannheim in 1925. Hubbuch was a known antifascist, and as a result was dismissed in 1933 from his teaching position at the Karlsruhe Academy and forbidden to paint by the Nazi authorities.

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1891, Hubbuch studied at the Karlsruhe Academy 1908-1912, where he befriended Rudolf Schlichter and George Scholz. In 1912 he attended art classes at the Museum of Arts and Crafts School in Berlin, where George Grosz and Oskar Nerlinger were also studying. After serving in the First World War, Hubbuch secured a teaching post back in Karlsruhe. His works reflected the social, political and economic state of Germany after the war, and he favoured portraiture in particular.

Hubbuch published collections of satirical drawings, and in 1930 he collaborated with Erwin Spuler and Anton Weber in publishing the critical and satirical magazine "Zakpo". In 1933 he was dismissed from his teaching position by the National Socialist Government because of his political stance. Until 1945 he survived by taking commercial jobs such as decorating ceramics, and it was only after the Second World War that his job in Karlsruhe was reinstated.

Hubbuch worked in relative obscurity during his later years and, because of failing eyesight, produced few works after 1970. He died in 1979 in Karlsruhe, where around 100 of his works are now housed in Gochsheim Castle. His works are also in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

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Product code: JH-618

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