Sonntagpost -- December 04, 1932Types of Chicago Artists Paul Kelpe by K. H. K.
Paul Kelpe was born in Minden, and was educated in Hanover. He received his artistic training at the Academy of Arts in Hanover. Emotionally he is of the pensive type, impassive and unhurried in spite of his youth. To him, art is something apart from everyday life. To him the creation of art is comparable to floating through a higher sphere where the inspiration is more profound than any found on the earth below; it is a kind of ecstasy that grips him when he paints. The feeling which enables him to conceive of a picture in its vague outlines is to him a primary motive force. Only while making the first sketch does he apply his mind to arranging and analyzing details.
Kelpe was originally destined for a technical career, but this field could not hold his interest. The urge for art, and the desire to work toward its accomplishment was stronger. And yet, his technical training shows its effects on 2all his pictures, even today. One would think on first sight that his pictures had been made on a drawing board, so geometrical are his forms and their combinations. And yet this is not true of his work. His pictures are merely the expression of an artist whose emotions are replete with tension. The colors aid in intensifying the expression.
Kelpe frees himself from all traditions of art when he stands before his easel. He does not wish to limit his forms of expression by objective appearances. He regards form and color, not as the means to an end, but as the representation of things in nature. It is not simplification, which is in his mind, but rather the escape from naturalism.
It is not so easy for the lover of art to familiarize himself with this absolutism in painting, which has its chief representative in Kandinski. If there are any possible interpretations left in abstract painting, these are completely missing in absolute painting. There are no lines of approach which lead from nature or the impression of a natural phenomenon to an absolute picture which will make 3the latter understandable. Just as in many instances symphonic music is the rendition of the vibrations of an artist's agitated soul and does not have any relation to anything real or tangible, so also absolute art strives to be absolute expression (sic).
In his earlier pictures Kelpe restricts himself almost exclusively to two dimensions. Only in his later works does he introduce the third dimension--a change which greatly improves his paintings. The figures seem plastic, and the picture as a whole avoids the appearance of crowding.
He is also skilled in other types of painting. Some heads he is exhibiting indicate that as an expressionist he possesses an extraordinary gift of characterization. A number of quick pencil sketches give proof that Kelpe does not always have to lean toward absolutism in painting. He is a good expressionist as well, and he is capable of respectable achievements in this field, any time he decides to cultivate this form of painting.
Kelpe came to America in his early twenties and spent the first years in New 4Jersey. Early this year he settled in Chicago. At the great spring exhibition of the Chicago artists at the Art Institute, he was represented with one picture; this was also the case at the No Jury exhibition. In February of this year he had a special exhibition at the Little Gallery. In former years he belonged to the Society of Independent Artists in New Jersey, and regularly contributed to their exhibitions. Also, his pictures have been shown in exhibitions in Philadelphia and New Orleans. He is one of the members of the Gallery on 59th Street where a selection of his pictures is continually on display. It is expected that he will soon come before the public with a new one-man show.
Kelpe is serious and honest in his art, and he also possesses much ability. As long as he applies the necessary will power to his work, he does not have to worry over the future.
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