Bethesda Fine Art



John VON WICHT
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Johannes Von Wicht (1888-1970) was born in Holstein, Germany. In 1923 Von Wicht immigrated to the United States, leaving post-war Berlin and its economic hardships. He found his place at the Ardsley Art Academy in Brooklyn and secured a job at the US Printing and Lithography Company, later moving to work at Ravenna Mosaic. While working for the mosaic company, Von Wicht designed a vestibule for the St. Louis Cathedral in a classic Byzantine manner. After a few years he had established enough contacts to become an independent mosaic contractor, setting up an office on Park Avenue to handle private commissions, with a studio in Brooklyn Heights.

Von Wicht's first attempt at abstraction was not until 1937, when he created his Force series in watercolor, commemorating Juliana Force, the first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art. This group of paintings was clearly influenced by Kandinsky's geometrical abstractions. In 1941 Von Wicht was accepted into a show at the Whitney, whereupon he was recognized and acknowledged both by his critics as well as his peers. During the last years of his life, Von Wicht worked on compositions with themes of the four seasons. These pieces were quite similar to the impressionists' technique of observing different light and form under various circumstances and times of day. The decisive geometric elements that were hallmarks of his earlier work shifted as he matured. Von Wicht's later pieces touched on the spiritual and natural realms of being, using color to reach viewers' emotions directly though pure form.
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