Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition: Josephsohn, in the Soho gallery at 99 Wooster Street.
Hans Josephsohn was born in 1920 in Königsberg, East Prussia. Forced to leave at a young age, he traveled to Italy and from there to Switzerland in 1938. He has lived in Zürich since that time.
From the mid 1950’s Josephsohn has worked exclusively with the human form. This he has analyzed and deconstructed into busts or half-figures, reliefs and reclining figures. The five monumental half-figures in bronze in this exhibition date from 1990 to 2003.
In these half-figure sculptures the head makes up at least half of the entire piece, the torso becoming a truncated shape. The anatomical detail is omitted almost entirely and the human form reduced so that any personal reference is erased. In the loss of a particular identity these works gain a universal aspect. They have been compared to effigy figures from earlier cultures, also to the stone figures of Easter Island.
Josephsohn executes the work in plaster before he has it cast in bronze. He builds up the volume of the sculpture using plaster plates at different stages of hardness. Evident in the finished bronze, the hand of the artist is clearly visible in the areas where Josephsohn has chipped away the solid plaster by means of a knife or hammer or axe, or added new layers, often re-using the chipped away pieces.
Since 1992 Josephsohn’s works have been housed in a purpose-built museum designed by the architect Peter Märkli in Giornico, Switzerland.
Josephsohn’s solo exhibitions include: Helmhaus, Zürich in 1964, Kunsthalle, Basel in 1965, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2002.
This is the first exhibition for Hans Josephsohn at Peter Blum Gallery and the first exhibition for Josephsohn in the United States.