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Arnold Balwé

Arnold Balwé

*  1898 Dresden
† 1983 Feldwies am Chiemsee

Arnold Balwé was born as the son of a Dutch consul in Dresden and spent his early youth in the South African port of Durban. His high school period was spent at a Gymnasium in Würzburg. A practical training in farming then took him to Lower Bavaria, where he met his future wife, the artist Elisabeth Staimmer in Straubing in 1918. After working for an architect's office for one year in 1919, Balwé decided in 1920 to study at the Academy in Antwerp. He interrupted his studies shortly afterwards, however, to spend one year in Italy. He discovered his true artistic calling after his return at the academy in Munich where he studied under Professor Carl Casper from 1922 to 1927. Balwé was one of Caspar's most important pupils and was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt-Prize while still a student. Even though he settled as a young man in Übersee-Feldwies on Lake Chiem, numerous trips during his academy-years took him through the whole of Europe. Since 1928 the artist participated in important exhibitions, for example at the 'Neue Sezession' in Munich, as well as the 'Rheinische Sezession' in Düsseldorf . At the beginning of the Second World War Balwé's pictures were confiscated from several exhibitions between 1938 and 1943 by the National Socialists. He had his first post-war exhibition in Prien on Lake Chiem as early as 1946, followed in 1949 by an exhibition at the Lenbachhaus in Munich. Balwé continued exhibiting throughout the 1950s and participated in the exhibitions of the 'Neue Gruppe' at the Haus der Kunst in Munich until 1983. In 1982, one year before his death, Arnold Balwé was awarded the Oberbayerischer Kulturpreis. A large commemorative exhibition with his works influenced by Expressionism was organised in 1988 in Prien on Lake Chiem. Balwé's works were always formed by an extraordinary painting culture. His post-impressionistic-lyrical landscapes, still lives and flower pieces were executed in a strong, pastose colouring with a vivid brush stroke.