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 Fritz Ketz  (1903 - 1983)

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Lived/Active: Germany      Known for: expressionist painting, drawing

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BIOGRAPHY for Fritz Ketz
1903 (Duisburg, Germany)
1983 (Pfullingen, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany)


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expressionist painting, drawing

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Fritz Ketz (1903-1983)

Born in Duisburg on the River Rhine, Ketz grew up in  his father's native village in East Prussia, named Karasch near Deutsch-Eylau, now Karas near Ilawa, former Germany now in Poland.  He studied at the  Stuttgart Art Academy from 1929 until the early thirties.

During WW II he stayed in Germany, in Stuttgart, where his studio was totally destroyed during the air raid in 1943, along with hundreds of his paintings but he himself miraculously survived.  Therefore, only a very small number of his graphics or paintings date from before 1943.   During the Third Reich he was prosecuted by the Gestapo because of his critical sketches and attitude against Nazism.  With the help of friends, he escaped into the Swabian mountains, where could hide until the end of war, cared for by friends.

After the war he built his new studio in the Swabian mountains, in Pfullingen, near Reutlingen, Baden Wuerttemberg, where he lived until his death in 1983.  He lived near the well-known German artist HAP Grieshaber. 

From the end of the fifties on, he developed a special way of watercolor painting in a highly expressionistic manner, in dense colors, similar to oil painting, but much more spontaneous, taking the format of 80 X 70 cm as his standard for these paintings.  Thus he became an important reformer of modern watercolor in German art in the 20th century, though he didn’t receive wide-spread fame.  Nevertheless, he is an important artist in the Southern German history of art in the 20th century, always staying independent as an individual.  Besides watercolor his favorite media was the sketching with pen and ink.

Literature: Fritz Ketz - Leben und Werk, 1993. Monograph by Rainer Hartmann 122 p., 95 Images, 40 in Color.

Information provided by the arist's son,  Jörn-Uwe Droemann

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