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 Ulfert S. Wilke  (1907 - 1987)

About: Ulfert S. Wilke


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Lived/Active: Iowa      Known for: abstract calligraphic expression

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Ad Code: 3
Ulfert S Wilke
An example of work by Ulfert S. Wilke
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ulfert Wilke is known for his calligraphic creations in abstract, non-lettered configuration which form rhythmic cluster and shape open spaces. His creations are in watercolor, ink and acrylic.

The artist was also a teacher, art collector, curator, and museum director. Ulfert was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1907 immigrated to the United States in 1938 and because a citizen in 1943. He had a number of one-man exhibitions worldwide. Germany in 1930s and 1950s, Denver Art Museum in 1943, Georgia Museum in Athens 1956, De Young Museum in San Francisco 1959, Des Moines Art Center in 1970, a traveling exhibition to Omaha and San Francisco in 1970, Charles H. McNider Museum in Iowa 1974 and the Arts Club of Chicago 1977.

During his career he was awarded Guggenheim fellowships to Germany and Italy. First prized in 1943 from the Delgado Museum in New Orleans. In 1956 a Georgia Museum purchase award.

His work is in permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, . Des Moines Art Center, Dayton Art Institute, New, York University Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum and the Museum of Tel Aviv in Israel. He has participated in numerous group shows, including the Tokyo Biennial. Numerous collectors hold in private collections.

The work of Ulfert Wilke was described by Alfred Frankenstein of the 'San Francisco Chronicle': "These works are exquisitely done, evoking the baffling beauties of distant languages one cannot decipherIn the drawing of these dancing, lashing, interacting strokes, and their placement in the white, two-dimensional field of the paper, Ulfert Wilke is a past master, gentler than Klee or Miro among the other great modern calligraphers, but of their class and quality."

Submitted by Janet Gwendolyn Smith, September 2003

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