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  • Paul Kelpe


    Art Brokerage: Paul Kelpe German-American Artist: b. 1902-1985. Greatly influenced by European modernism, Paul Kelpe became known in the United States for his two- and three-dimensional abstract works. Kelpe studied art in Germany, and his signature style was built upon constructivism and cubism; he also admired the works of Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitsky, Naum Gabo, and Kurt Schwitters. Kelpe is known for his geometric forms and careful application of paint that left no visible brushstrokes. He was also among the earliest American artists to make constructions combining painting and found objects. In the 1930s, shortly after moving to the United States, Kelpe worked as a muralist for the WPA, during which time he incorporated representational, machine-like motifs into his work to reflect the popular preference for realism. Rebelling against these kinds of stylistic strictures tied to realism, Kelpe moved to New York in 1936 to a climate that allowed more stylistic flexibility . He continued as a muralist for three more years, but in abstract styles and became a founder of the American Abstract Artists, which he served as secretary from 1936 to 1941. This organization was dedicated to modernist art and movements rooted in Europe, especially Paris, and was a reaction against the prevalent Social Realism espoused by Robert Henri and his Ash Can school of painters. Listings wanted.

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