Hans Scheib

Hans Scheib

Germany 1949

Sculpture, Expressionism


Hans Scheib
Hans Scheib
July 12, 2015
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Hans Scheib is a German sculptor and graphic artist, best known for his wooden and bronze sculptures.

Hans Scheib: East Berlin Life

Scheib was born in Potsdam in 1949 as the son of a prominent East German communist. He was raised in Berlin. Since he was a child, Hans knew he will be an artist. For that, Schein blames his grandmother who gave him first blank piece of paper to draw on it. That was the day when he embarked on this creative journey that brought him into conflict with the system.

Hans Scheibe graduated in 1976 from Dresden’s College of Fine Arts just to (as he says) “get a slip of paper that stated I was an artist. I needed that to protect me from the police calling me asocial.”

Changing Bronze for Wood on East

Same year he graduated, Scheib makes his studio out of a vacant shop in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg. At first, he wanted to work with bronze. That turned out to be a bit too ambitious for the East Germany at the time. He even made clay models and plaster casts just to find out that he can’t afford or even find bronze in the whole East Germany. So, Hans started looking for other, more affordable and available material he could work with.

Scheib found discarded wooden roof beams from demolished homes to be the ideal substitute. He started carving expressive figures out of it, giving the rejected wood a new life and a vital spirit.

At the time, there was no other professional sculptor in East or West Germany who worked with that kind of material. Scheib had to look back far back into history to find his artistic references. He discovered Egyptian, Roman and 16th century Gothic sculpture. What he did not find was the work of Die Brücke artistic group of German expressionists formed in Dresden in 1905. Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller. Their figurative wood carvings Hans found some years later as none of that work was held in East German collections.

Hans Scheib: West Berlin New Life

It wasn’t before 1985 that Hans applied to move to West Berlin.

“To start my journey into the wider world, all I had to do was cross the street.”

The first year in West Berlin was tough on this artist without any money or patrons. In 1986 a group exhibition was held at the Haus am Waldsee – one of the foremost exhibition spaces for international contemporary art in Germany- Hans Scheib was part of it and that launched his career in the West.

Scheib’s subjects are often drawn from the mythology. As the artist explains it is because we have no better things to look up to.

“I take the subject into myself and work with it. This is a very old tool, and a good tool.”

Hans Scheib finally Reunited with Bronze

Once he lived on the other side of Iron Curtain, Scheib was able to go back to his first, never consumed love – bronze. His refined, waif-like nudes cast in bronze, helped him create an artistic reputation. Scheib has also produced many remarkable drawings, woodcuts and lithographs, as well as a series of paper cuttings to illustrate a satirical text by Jaroslav Hasek, a Czech writer, humorist, satirist, journalist, bohemian and anarchist.

In 2005 Hans Scheib was awarded with Bautzen Award for Fine Arts and in 2014 with Egmont-Schaefer-Award for drawing in Berlin.

Mimesis Bronzes 1986-2012

In 2012, Scheib had his first retrospective, titled Mimesis Bronzes 1986-2012, at Museum für aktuelle Kunst in Sammlung Hurrle, Durbach.

Hans Scheib - The Bed from 2011 at Mimesis Bronzes
Hans Scheib – The Bed from 2011 at Mimesis Bronzes

At this show, it was obvious that quite a number of his works originated from a mythological background demonstrating the artist’s very personal interpretation. Viewers could notice that his more recent works are notable for their blend of color, expressive and subtle expression and the aesthetics of the material.
Hans Scheib’s entire oeuvre of bronze sculptural work was immortalized in the opulent, premastered and expanded publication that followed the retrospective exhibition. The book was published by Kerber, edited by Angela Cerny with text by Michael Freitag.

Games, Symbol and Celebration

Next year, in 2013 another retrospective was held, titled Games, Symbol and Celebration. This time, visitors had a chance to meet the extended family of his wooden sculptures. Once again, the book followed the exhibition.

The Games, Symbol and Celebration book was dedicated to his neo-expressionist wooden sculptures, inspired by mythology. Schreib’s sensualy painted objects are a key component of his oeuvre and they play a major role in the artist’s work, penetrating through to the heart of his art on two levels – color and material.

REINCARNATIONS at Anna Zorina Gallery

In 2015 an exhibition titled REINCARNATIONS gathered together three artists: Bradley Hart, Alexander Kaletski, and Hans Scheib among them.

Hans Scheib - Girl and Animal, 2014
Hans Scheib – Girl and Animal, 2014

Anna Zorina Gallery presented this show that featured artworks created from unexpected media. The materials with already defined utilitarian use were transformed and revived through undertaking a creative purpose. By choosing to ignore the initial intention of the original items, these artists called attention to the ease at which objects are deemed disposable.

This independent, free-thinking artist keep striving to express himself, rising above both political and populist trends, interpreting the world with honesty, humility and humor.

This artist is represented by Anna Zorina Gallery.

Hans Scheib lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

All images copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015ReincarnationsAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CityGroup
2015English Red and Dove GreyGerman Embassy, London, United KingdomGroup
2015Horizon ObserversMuseum of Contemporary Art, University of Chile, BrazilGroup
2014Sculpture and Painting, Hans Scheib and Tino GeissGalerie Brockstedt,Berlin, GermanyDuo
2014Primitive, Prime TimeAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CityGroup
2014The Young Lady from RigaAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CitySolo
2013Sculpture and DrawingSammlung Hurrle, Durbach, GermanySolo
2013This and That, Oscar and the Legs of Dolores (with Peter Herrmann)Kunstraum Bernusstrasse, Frankfurt am Main, GermanyGroup
2012Tunnel Berlin Istanbul (with Reinhard Stangl)arte Istanbul, Istanbul, TurkeyDuo
2012Hans S.Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington, D.C.Solo
2012AnimalsGalerie am Ratswall, Bitterfeld Wolfen, GermanySolo
2011April’s FaceMaschinenhaus, Essen, GermanySolo
2011Horizon ObserversNational Museum of Brasilia, BrazilGroup
2010May has arrivedMuseum Junge Kunst, Frankfurt, GermanySolo
2009Dragon’s Teeth and OtherZitadelle Spandau, Berlin, GermanySolo
2009In Europa (with Peter Herrmann and Oscer Pioppi)Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, GeorgiaDuo
2008With Love…Galerie Kontrapost, Leipzig, GermanySolo
2008Galerie BeyerDresden, GermanySolo
2008Ni HaoGalerie Brockstedt, Berlin, GermanySolo
2008And I Saw, and Behold…French Dome at Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, GermanySolo
2007HipposMax Delbrück Center, Berlin, GermanySolo
2007Stories by the WaterGalerie Poll, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2006Images of Men 1942 2005Museum Junge Kunst, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2006As I Like ItOrangerie Draenert, Immenstaad, GermanySolo
2006Sculptures and Graphic ArtsFree Academy of Fine Arts, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2005NadineGalerie Bauscher, Potsdam, GermanySolo
2005Summerdays (are gone)Galerie Brockstedt, Berlin, GermanySolo
2005A Little MenagerieGalerie Kasten, Mannheim, GermanyGroup
2004Nose Head and Small Wild (with Elli Graetz)Galerie Tangente, LiechtensteinDuo
1994Galerie BrockstedtBerlin, GermanySolo
2004Berlin’s FaceGalerie im Turm, Berlin, GermanySolo
2004Asparagus ViridisGalerie Niepel, Düsseldorf, GermanySolo
2003Listros ProjectGoethe Institute, Berlin, Germany and Addis Abada, EthiopiaSolo
2003Café ObermaierGalerie Hofman & Kyrath, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2002Summer GardensGalerie Hofman & Kyrath, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2001WhispersLeonhardi Museum, Dresden, GermanyGroup
2001Phaeton, Kunsthalle DarmstadtDarmstadt, GermanySolo
2001Sixteen and a few otherSusan Duval Gallery, Aspen, ColoradoSolo
2000Forum BoxArt Forum, Helsinki, FinlandGroup
1999The Element (with Klaus Dennhardt)Galerie Poll, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1999FigureMärkisches Museum, Witten, GermanySolo
1999Sculptures and DrawingsGalerie Brockstedt, Hamburg, GermanySolo
1988Figures, EtchingsGalerie Poll, Berlin, GermanySolo
1988Women FiguresMannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, GermanySolo
1996Phaeton + TwelveStadtmuseum Foundation, Berlin, GermanySolo
1996Three Berlin Artists (with Peter Herrmann and Reinhard Stangl)Carré Sainte Anne, Montpellier, FranceDuo
1995The Golden Pot (with Peter Herrmann)Octogon Brühlsche Terrasse,Dresden, GermanyDuo
1994Group showGalerie Brockstedt, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1994The Okapi is Beautiful (with Hartmut Neumann)Gerhard Marcks Haus, Bremen, GermanyGroup
1993White Flag, The Burned ChildWatzmann (with Peter Herrmann and Reinhard Stangl)Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany
1992Girl, DeathGalerie Rothes Haus, Schwetzingen, GermanyGroup
1992Girl, DeathGalerie Rothes Haus, Schwetzingen, GermanySolo
1990Arts of GDRMuseum Ludwig, Köln, GermanyGroup
1989Prussian Blue (with Peter Herrmann)Goethe Institute, Paris, FranceDuo
1987ChildhoodGalerie Niepel, Düsseldorf, GermanySolo
1986Maelstrom (with Ralf Kerbach, Helge Leiberg, Cornelia Schleime, Reinhard Stangl)Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1982Lunch on the Grass (with Anna Cumin)Leonhardi Museum, Dresden, GermanyDuo
1982Sculpture and Flowers (with Anatol Erdmann and Stefan Reichmann)Treptower Park, Berlin, GermanyGroup
1980AutumnAtelier Raumerstrasse, Berlin, GermanySolo
1979LeonhardiMuseum, Dresden, GermanyGroup
1978Group ShowGalerie Mitte, Berlin Mitte, GermanyGroup