"Abendhimmel über dem Moor (Evening Sky Over the Moor)", 1987
Watercolour and pastel on handmade paper
14.37 x 19.88 in / framed 26.38 x 30.71 in
Signed and dated bottom right "Modersohn 87"
- with handmade craftsman's frame
and UV absorbing, non-reflective glass -
Über das Werk
Born in Bremen in 1916, Christian Modersohn was raised by his father Otto Modersohn and his second wife Louise Modersohn-Breling in the village of Fischerhude. After completing his studies at the Munich Academy of Art (1936-1940), he lived in the parental home from 1946 to 1957 in Hindelang in the Allgäu mountains. Together with his family, he subsequently moved back to Fischerhude, where he built a house along the Bredenau (street), founded the Otto-Modersohn Museum in Fischerhude in 1974, and henceforth combined the office of museum director with his own activities as an artist. Christian Modersohn died in 2009.
At the heart of his œuvre - in common with the father - lies the intensive exploration of the natural landscape around the small River Wümme, which runs close to the village of Fischerhude. In an abundance of watercolours he dedicated himself to depicting the vastness of this almost pristine natural scenery at various times of day and through the passing seasons. His lucid, open and transparent watercolours captured the rapid transformation of the light and colours beneath the high skies of the German north. The hours of dawn or dusk, when the first or last light of day lies across the undulating meadows. "He rarely painted in the middle of the day or in the afternoon. The transition (...) of a morning or evening meant much more to him. Light was his great theme. 'To a certain degree, the light is already there. All I do is reveal its presence through colour’. He also painted wet-in-wet, sometimes wiping the brush dry as its grazed his jacket. He then drew the dry brush through the paint to retain a hard edge," recalls his daughter Antje Modersohn. This present sheet "Evening Sky Over the Moor" gives vivid expression to his visual language. It is this momentary experience of light, air and atmosphere which he sought with watercolours to translate onto paper as rapidly and as directly as possible. The forces of nature, the blurring of the details and contours in the chilled mist of the evening, the ethereal glow of the seemingly endless clouded sky and the gentle shimmering of the ground mist hovering above the dewy meadow - all this he captured with consummate mastery.