Hermann Scherer (1893-1927) was one of the most important representatives of expressionism in Switzerland. In his work the key period was the four last years of his life. Here “Scherer becomes Scherer”, inspired by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, he breaks entirely new ground. The exhibition aims its focus on Scherer’s printmaking work and shows how the technique of wood engraving reinforces his efforts in finding new forms and figurative abstraction. A special feature of the exhibition is the presentation of the original woodblocks seen here publicly for the first time. The rutted surface reliefs of the blocks, mostly carved on both sides, materially demonstrate the vehement blows of Scherer’s cutting irons. The printing blocks are exhibited right next to the print sheets, which were printed by using varying pressures on different types of paper.
Thematically Scherer’s wood engraving oeuvre combines the central aspects of his entire work: The existential isolation of humans, in nudes, single portraits, pair constellations (which cannot escape this isolation); landscapes in expressive immediacy; friendship pictures as a mirror of the private, artistic and intellectual network. In addition there are the portfolio works hardly studied so far, in which Scherer takes as a starting point a novel - Dostoyevsky’s Raskolnikov, and a play - Baal by Bertold Brecht. What is remarkable here is his tendency of abrupt “change of scene”, in which the view leaps from one intensive image to the next. Formative for Hermann Scherer were the aesthetics of expressionist silent movies and this was something he directly reacted to.
The exhibition was conceived in close cooperation with the Art Museum Basel. At the Art Museum Graubünden the exhibition has been completely reformulated. For the exhibition design in Chur the artist Vaclav Pozarek could be won over.
In addition to the exhibition “Hermann Scherer. Grooves and Edges”, a collection presentation “Graphics of Expressionism”, will be shown in the “Kabinett” of the Art Museum Graubünden also starting June 18.