Karl Hurm (in English)

– a German naïve art painter

From June 23 to September 16, 2018 the German artist Karl Hurm has his exhibition at Gimsinghoved Kunst- og Kulturcenter

Open all days except Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Entrance fee: DKK 30 (personal members including partner free).

Karl Hurm is one of Germanys most well-known painters of ‘naïve art’. He is born in 1930 in Weildorf in the Southern part of Germany, something which is clearly reflected in his art. Weildorf is not just his birth place and the place he grew up, it is also the place, where he settled down and around which his artistic world centres.

As a young guy he went to art school and showed promising talent; but at the age of 19, in 1949, he leaves school and returns to the village with his sister to help the parents run a cheese and grocery shop. Here he had to go the market in Stuttgart to sell their produce, but he also found time to visit the art museums and galleries of the city. He stumbled on works of Rousseau, Gauguin, Klee and not least Chagall, who have left their clear inspiration marks in Hurm’s own imagery – an example could be “Kuh mit Decke” (Cow with Cover) from 2000, where the cow is gigantic, but also light and almost transparent.

Hurm continues his life as a tradesman until 1970, where the shop has to close due to illness. Throughout the years, painting has been a past time occupation, but now it becomes central both as an artistic drive and as a way of living. The artistic break through comes in 1972 where he wins an award, and after that he starts exhibiting in  different places in Germany, while he and his wife travel across Europe to look at art as inspiration. He visits London, where he meets Henry Moore, and is fascinated by his sculptures.

Karl Hurm’s painting universe deals with the nearby country side and the small town, he stems from. It is a landscape where progress is slow and that is reflected in the people, who seem to have more time that the busy city people.

Animals play a central role – with a lot of horses and cows painted in the characteristic Chagall-inspired way on the fields or as draft animals. Sometimes he lets the animals almost drown in the juicy green colour of the meadow and other times it is the gloomier earthy colours, which set a darker tone of the picture.

You see people too, but they are tiny compared to the large nature with forests, mountains, rivers and meadows. Often you see a redheaded woman; a tribute to Anni, his life companion. In Hurm’s pictures you can see you are in the Southern part of Germany, which is primarily catholic, by the many crosses or alters every where in the landscape and hence also in the paintings. Karl Hurm is a naïve artist; but he is also humourist. He has an eye for our many quirky weaknesses, which are affectionately illustrated in his motives. He is not scared of letting development with its electrical masts and factory towers mingle with the rural idyll, which can be tough e.g. at winter time.

Karl Hurm is an interesting artistic person to know, especially if you are interested in the Danish naïve art-scene, filled with sunshine, happiness and allotments and waving flags. Hurm’s world is in a way much more realistic than you normally see in naïve art, but his strong, changing colours and Chagall-inspired lightness in the motives, give his paintings a unique character. Besides the light touch, they include the more serious parts of life and portrays life as a cycle, which however, does not repeat itself.

Hence Karl Hurm is a particularly interesting acquaintance, you can enjoy in Struer, at Gimsinghoved.