Hans Christoph

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Hans Christoph (actually Johannes; born September 7, 1901 in Dresden ; † July 31, 1992 there ) was a German artist .


Hans Christoph was born the son of insurance employee Carl Ernst Christoph and his wife Hedwig. From 1908 to 1912 he attended elementary school in Dresden and then the upper secondary school. In 1921 he graduated from high school. He then took up studies at the arts and crafts school with Carl Rade . During this time he met Erna Lincke , Arthur Frenzel, Hilde Rakebrand and Carl Lohse and made the acquaintance of the literary figure Ludwig Renn .

Grave in the Loschwitz cemetery

From 1925 to 1927 Christoph worked as a drawing teacher in Zittau . In 1927 Christoph went on a hike in Holland with Erna Lincke, whom he married in the same year. Since then he has worked as a freelance artist in Dresden. Christoph was a member of the New Dresden Secession in 1931 and the Dresden Secession in 1932 as well as the ASSO . Between 1941 and 1945 he did his military service as a cartographer in Krakow. When Dresden was bombed in February 1945, almost all of his early work was lost. In 2012, a watercolor pair (1924) appeared at the Schwabing art find .

In 1946, along with Karl von Appen , Hermann Glöckner , Edmund Kesting , Erna Lincke and Helmut Schmidt-Kirstein, he was one of the founding members of the artist group “ Der Ruf ”. After the group was dissolved, he joined the " Group 1947 Dresden Artists - The Shore ". In 1949 he was appointed to the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts . Until 1952 he taught in the advertising department, then as a lecturer in the painting class. During this time a friendship developed with Hajo Rose and Max Erich Nicola . From 1952 he worked with his student Helga Knobloch on designs for the textile industry. Christoph gave up his teaching activity in 1955 to avoid the increasing hostility due to formalistic tendencies. Since 1955 he worked as a freelancer in Dresden, where he worked closely with Helga Knobloch for many years, especially on design tasks in connection with the Leipzig trade fair .

Christoph died in Dresden in 1992 and was buried in the Loschwitz cemetery .


At the beginning of his studies, Hans Christoph met the painter Carl Lohse in Richter's gallery , who at that time was living and working in Bischofswerda near Dresden. In his unpublished memoirs, he describes this encounter with the work and with Carl Lohse as extremely exhilarating. He took his work, which was trained in the artistic technique mainly on the works of Vincent van Gogh , as a model. Characteristic for this phase of his artistic work is a pastose application of paint, a lively vibrating brushstroke and a strongly expressive color scheme. In 1927 - the year in which Otto Dix took on a teaching position at the Dresden Art School - the artistic conception of Hans Christoph's work changed forever. Under the impression of Otto Dix's technique, Christoph no longer worked with the alla prima technique as before , but instead also used the glaze technique . A little later he "freed" himself from it in his own words. Now works were created that already refer to his work in the post-war period through flatness and strong contours, but also pictures that seem to be influenced by Sonja Delaunay's Orphic Cubism .

The almost complete destruction of his work at the end of the Second World War was a heavy loss. Not only the shared studio with Erna Lincke on Dresdner Ostbahnstraße , but also the work outsourced to Erna Lincke's parents in Blasewitz and the work in the Hede Schönert gallery on Neumarkt fell victim to the flames. Hans Christoph was spared a long captivity and was back in Dresden in 1945. He immediately took part in the rebuilding of the city's cultural life. Lively, playful, colorful works, two-dimensional with strong contours, now determine his artistic work again - typical for this time, mostly executed in watercolor.

The years of his lectureship at the University of Fine Arts left little room for his own artistic work. Under Mart Stam , Hans Christoph and Hajo Rose tried to develop a modern educational concept for the commercial graphics department at Dresden University. In 1955, Hans Christoph retired from teaching. He reacted to the numerous formalism allegations of the party.

Together with Helga Knobloch , he worked until his retirement in 1968 as a freelance commercial artist for industry and, above all, the Leipziger Messe . This was followed by a remarkable late work, of great density and intensity. As early as the mid-1960s there were works that show his particularly characteristic technique of dripping and splashing, which played a special role in all of his later work. Reinhild Tetzlaff characterizes the later works as follows:

“The creation of Christoph's pictures is not the scene of violent actions, but rather carefully and cautiously guided the hand. The result is a network of colored threads and drops, multicolored, in stark contrast to cadmium yellow and vermilion, ultramarine and white. The white always dominates the composition. It gives the painterly component graphic density. […] And yet: his painting is also action. Only this painterly action on the picture surface is not an extravert, it is introverted; directed towards a center in which the individual is identical with the general. There is hardly anything expressive about Christoph's lines. There is no struggle for the expression here. "

- Reinhild Tetzlaff 1991

Formal are the works of Christopher in the context of the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock to works by Mark Tobey and the Texturologies of Jean Dubuffet , even if Hans Christoph shared his amazement when he first a catalog of Jackson Pollock in the hands held.

Solo exhibitions

Participation in exhibitions

  • 1928 Summer exhibition of the artists' association, Dresden
  • 1928 December exhibition of the Kunstverein, Dresden
  • 1929 "Secession Group 1919"
  • 1933 December exhibition "Secession Group 1919"
  • 1934 "Secession Group 1919"
  • 1945 "the call - liberated art"
  • 1946 " First German Art Exhibition ", Dresden
  • 1946 "Art Exhibition of Saxon Artists", Dresden
  • 1947 “First exhibition of Dresden artists”, Dresden / Galerie Haffke, Halle adS
  • 1947 Working Group for Fine Arts, Dresden
  • 1948 “der ruf” art exhibition in Kühl, Dresden
  • 1949 "Second German Art Exhibition ", Dresden
  • 1951 “Artists create for peace”, Dresden
  • 1958 "Fourth German Art Exhibition", Dresden
  • 1974 "Drawings in the Art of the GDR", Albertinum , Dresden
  • 1977 "Dresden Art Today", Galerie Nord, Dresden
  • 1979 "Positions", Galeria am Sachsenplatz, Leipzig
  • 1980/81 “Art on the move”, Dresden
  • 1984 “Group 1947. Dresden artist. The shore ”, Dresden
  • 1984 "30 Years - Art of Time", Dresden
  • 1986 "40 years of painting in Dresden", Dresden
  • 1986 “Fantasticism in Fine Art”, Dresden
  • 1987 "Art tendencies", Dresden
  • 1989 "Drawings in the Art of the GDR", Berlin
  • 1990 "The Art of Collage in the GDR 1945–1990", Cottbus / Neubrandenburg / Rostock / Bottrop.
  • 1991 New acquisitions by the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden
  • 2006/07 “Counterworlds - Informal Painting in the GDR, The Example of Dresden”, Marburg / Halle adS / Dresden
  • 2011/12 “New Objectivity in Dresden. Painting of the Twenties from Dix ​​to Querner ”, October 1, 2011 - January 8, 2012, Kunsthalle im Lipsius-Bau


  • Das Kunstblatt 1928, p. 12
  • Drawings in the Art of the GDR (catalog), Dresden 1974.
  • Fritz Löffler: Dresden Art Today (Catalog Gallery North), Dresden 1977.
  • From collage to assemblage - aspects of material art in the GDR (catalog), Berlin 1978.
  • Collage, montages, frottages by GDR artists (catalog), Leipzig 1978.
  • Lothar Lang: Painting and Graphics in the GDR, Leipzig 1978.
  • Positions (catalog, gallery at Sachsenplatz), Leipzig 1979.
  • Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen (Ed.): Hans Christoph - Paintings, colored leaves, collages , Cottbus 1991
  • Dresden City Museum (Ed.): Hans Christoph, Dresden 2001.
  • Galerie Hebecker (Ed.): Hans Christoph, Weimar 2003. (Folder)
  • Sigrid Hofer (Ed.): Gegenwelten - Informal Painting in the GDR, Marburg 2006.
  • Hans Christoph . In: Birgit Dalbajewa (ed.): New Objectivity in Dresden . Sandstein Verlag, Dresden 2011, ISBN 978-3-942422-57-4 , p. 183-184 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lost Art Public Prosecutor Augsburg
  2. cf. Stadtmuseum Dresden (Ed.): Hans Christoph (1901–1991) , Dresden 2001, p. 8.
  3. Reinhild Tetzlaff: Hans Christoph - Beloved white . in: Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus (Ed.): Hans Christoph, Cottbus 1991, p. 10.

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