Artist Search
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 

  Wols  (1913 - 1951)

About: Wols


Examples of his work



Exhibits - current  

Discussion board

Send me updates


Signature Examples*

Buy and Sell: Wols
  For sale ads

Auction results*


Wanted ads

Auctions upcoming for him*



Place a classified ad  
Lived/Active: Germany/France      Known for: abstract painting, portrait photography, graphic arts

Login for full access
View AskART Services

*may require subscription

Available for Wols:

Biographical information ( Wols)


Artwork Wanted ( Wols)


Dealers ( Wols)


Auction records - upcoming / past ( Wols)

new entry!

Signature Examples* ( Wols)


Discussion board entries ( Wols)


Image examples of works ( Wols)


Please send me Alert Updates for Wols (free)
What is an alert list?

Ad Code: 1
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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.

Wols (1913-1951)

Wols was born as Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze in Berlin in 1913 and is today considered one of the more important modern artists.  He moved to Dresden with his family in 1919, where he discovered his lively interest in painting in 1927. He was impressed above all by Paul Klee, Otto Dix and George Grosz.

The artist began an apprenticeship as a photographer in 1930 and attended classes at the Reiman-Schule, the Berlin school of applied arts.  Moholy-Nagy advised Wols, who had applied at the Bauhaus*, to go to Paris.  Here he painted and worked as a portrait photographer and a German teacher.  He was given his first large commission as a photographer in 1937 at the Paris World Exhibition.

At the outbreak of the war, Wols was sent to an internment camp near Aix-en-Provence.  He managed to flee in 1940 and hid in Cassis near Marseilles, where he spent his time drawing and painting in watercolor.  He had to flee from the Germans in 1942 and went to Montélimar. 

After his return to Paris he had his first exhibition of watercolors in 1945 at the Galerie Drouin, which was not very successful, however.  A second exhibition in the same gallery two years later, on the other hand, was a sensational success.  His encounter with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir awakened a lively interest in Existentialist philosophy, which is also reflected in Wols' artistic work.

As a precursor of the Informel and one of the main artists of Tachisme, Wols produced a rich oeuvre he refers to as 'Zirkus Wols', which was initially inspired by the Surrealist* psychic Automatism*.

The different aspects in his work seem to continually inspire one another.  Wols occupied himself not only with painting and graphic art but also with photography. His musical and literary talents are also reflected in his art.  His painted work contains figurative elements as well as free improvisations and abstract elements.  Spontaneity and immediateness determine the creative work of Wols, who never underwent any formal artistic training.  Randomness plays an important role in his unstructured compositions.

In later years Wols was particularly interested in the combination of powerful brushstrokes with a relief-like painted surface structure.  After his death in 1951, works by Wols were shown at the Kassel documenta II - III between 1955 and 1964.

Art Directory:

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
  go to top home | site map | site terms | AskART services & subscriptions | contact | about us
  copyright © 2000-2015 AskART all rights reserved ® AskART and Artists' Bluebook are registered trademarks

  A |  B |  C |  D-E |  F-G |  H |  I-K |  L |  M |  N-P |  Q-R |  S |  T-V |  W-Z  
  art appraisals, art for sale, auction records