© Hubert Berke community of heirs

Hour of Pan, 1949

Hubert Berke (1908–1979, D)

Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 130 x 105 cm

about the work

Hubert Berke’s versatility is revealed in the approximately 50 works that are part of the Reinhard Ernst Collection. An important piece, which represents the transition from his figurative early work to his abstract period is the Hour of Pan from 1949. During this period, Berke puts together geometric areas of paint and contrasting black brush strokes to create a complex visual fabric. As such, this already suggests a special relationship with the material and his love of experimentation, which will become even clearer in his later works – in particular, his small nail sculptures from the 1950s are fine examples of the versatility and experimentalism in his creative work.

After completing his studies – including under Paul Klee at the Düsseldorf Art Academy –Berke was a member of numerous artist groups, such as the Junger Westen / Young West and Zen 49, and he participated in important exhibitions in the post-war years. Together with Hann Trier and Joseph Fassbender, the Rhinelander shaped the regional art scene through numerous events created by the Donnerstag-Gesellschaft / Thursday Society, which existed from 1947 to 1950 in Alfter near Bonn. This initiative provided the first meaningful exchange for artists and art lovers in the Rhineland after the end of the war.

The artworks of Hubert Berke, who is one of Reinhard Ernst’s favourite painters, form a focal point in the collection and thus received renewed attention that does justice to Berke’s position in the history of German post-war art.

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