The group show presents three artists with very similar lives and artistic developments. Hofer, Purrmann and Rohlfs remained faithful to the figurative tradition all their lives. Their works manifest the influence of the French Impressionists, being influenced by their contact with painters of the French avant-garde. However, they then developed a more expressive style before finally, each in his own way, arriving at their own characteristic, personal mode of expression.
The three artists were all able to benefit artistically from their sojourns south of the Alps, where the extraordinary quality of the light inspired their richly coloured, typically southern landscapes.
In his landscape and figurative paintings, Hofer was the artists who used elements of the New Objectivity and Magic Realism of the 1920s. Purrmann developed a more solid style, but never becoming objective and/or realistic. Rohlfs could be the only one described as breaking increasingly with the representational, tending towards abstraction pervaded by a mannerist aesthetic.
Besides their artistic practices, they shared a very similar personal fates. Their success prior to World War II was disrupted by the Nazi regime, who banned their works and their practices as artists. Many works were sold abroad in exchange for foreign currency or even destroyed. However, after the war, the reception of their work regained reputation quickly, especially in German-speaking countries.
- Hans Purrmann, Blick auf die Boboli-Gärten, 1943. Courtesy Galerie Henze & Ketterer & Triebold, Riehen