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 Paul Wiesenfeld  (1942 - 1990)

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Lived/Active: California / Germany      Known for: realist portrait and interior scene painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Still Life
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Heritage Auctions:
Paul Wiesenfeld was an American realist painter whose meticulous portraits and, particularly, his finely-detailed interiors enjoyed great critical praise during the 1970s. Sadly, his early death from cancer at age 48 cut short a truly poetic talent.

Born in Los Angeles, Wiesenfeld  studied at the Chouinard Art Institute there, the Kunst Academie in Munich, and the University of Indiana.  Paul Wiesenfeld's wife was German, so the family divided their time between the United States and their home in Landshut, a small town outside Munich.  There, Wiesenfeld's world became the one he painted--a single, lonely room which, according to his dealer Robert Schoelkopf, was roped off and understood to be off-limits to the rest of his family.

Within this room, a few pieces of judiciously placed furniture, a brightly-colored, geometrically-designed rug, a window clothed with drapery allowing only filtered light to stream through, an old-style lamp with fabric shade, and a variety of small objects on the top of a round table, are the sum total of subjects for Wiesenfeld's art. He painted this highly controlled environment, without people, where even the daylight is prevented from entering directly, with such loving precision that he was able to produce only two and half paintings (this size) per year.

The classical rigor of his compositions, together with his technique, created interiors that are, as a contemporary writer Don Gray noted, "essentially still-lifes, their elements skirting, but not quite attaining, the quality of symbol that often results from intense observation. Paul Wiesenfeld's paintings clearly reflect the struggle of [1970s] contemporary realist artists to come to terms with the world a step at a time, after three-quarters of a century of abstraction."

This style of painting represented Wiesenfeld in the now-legendary 1973 exhibition, Realism Now.  Fort Worth museum Director Ted Pillsbury and his wife,  Mireille, hung a Wiesenfeld painting in their bedroom at their Broad Avenue home in Fort Worth for many years.

Heritage Auctions

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