Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch

Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch, Die Erstarrung (The Congealment), 1928

Due to the profession of his father, an officer, Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch (1889-1937) experienced in his childhood many relocations, such as to Krakow and Prague. In 1914 his father died in the war. In 1916, Reyl-Hanisch served in the artillery of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but, because of his bad lung condition, was exempted from further military service. In 1917 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, but soon changed to the Vienna School of Arts where he studied under Wilhelm Müller-Hofmann.

 Herbert Reyl-Hanisch, Birth of Man, 1930

After his graduation in 1920 he worked as a freelance artist. In 1923 he married Marianne Nohl. In the same year he participated in an exhibition of the Vienna Secession. Because of his good social contacts Reyl-Hanisch received numerous portrait commissions and was also active as a book illustrator. In the late twenties Reyl-Hanisch joined the artist group "Old World" and became a close friend of the painter Franz Sedlacek, whose wife Maria he portrayed in 1930. Like Sedlacek's work, Reyl-Hanisch's style can be located somewhere between New Objectivity and Magic Realism. The next painting demonstrates that he was also aware of the social problems and continous political unrest of that time. It shows a street fight between Nazis and Socialists which took place in Schwechat on April 14th, 1932:

 Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch, Pursuit, 1932

In the 1930s his rising popularity was followed by exhibitions in Germany and Italy. In 1934, he moved with his wife to Bregenz. In 1936, he was represented with a portrait of his nephew Bernhard Matt ("The Youth Champion" ) at the Olympia exhibition in Berlin. In 1937, Reyl-Hanisch died of a severe hemorrhage.

Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch, Portrait of the Mother, c. 1930

More of his works are here on my Flickr page.

1 comment:

  1. You say "Reyl-Hanisch's style can be located somewhere between New Objectivity and Magic Realism"
    Could you elaborate on that? with sources, etc.? It is my understanding that New Objectivity and Magic Realism are essentially synonyms.