Ida Kerkovius, Pastel II on Green, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Graphische Sammlung, © Kerkovius Archiv Wendelstein
»My world is colour; in it, my fantasy can come into its own.« That was Ida Kerkovius’s (1879‒1970) leitmotif. »Kerko«, as she was called, stood out from the rest of Adolf Hölzel’s approximately 20 women pupils at the Stuttgart Academy. She had already studied with the great teacher in Dachau back in 1903, and then again from 1908 onwards in Stuttgart. Hölzel, who later appointed her as his assistant, appreciated her uniqueness: »She practises my doctrine but, strangely, the things she does are completely different.«
During the winter semesters of 1920 to 1923, Kerkovius studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where she took inspiration especially from the teachings of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Yet despite these many influences, she always emphasized that she did not follow just one style: »I don’t profess to any artistic direction, but – as at the beginning of my development – always strive to give shape, quality and expression to the feelings alive within me.«
Kerkovius’s refusal to subordinate herself to any particular style enabled her to handle artistic mediums and colour in ever-new ways. Especially in her pastel works, she developed an independent, emotional and splendidly colourful pictorial language that draws the viewer in on a sensual level of perception.
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