Attributed to Arno Mohr (1910-2001), German, Portrait of an Artist, 1951

Portrait of an artist, oil on Masonite, signed lower right, Mohr '51.
Image: 47.5" x 9"
Overall: 50.5" x 12"

The front depicts a man wearing a blue jacket over a red shirt and holding a paint brush in his left hand; the reverse is painted with an abstract composition.

Arno Mohr (1910-2001) was active in Berlin as a graphic artist and painter. His work usually portrays daily scenes, but some of his portraiture shows a more expressive approach, as seen in his 1963 portrait of Bertolt Brecht.

This painting is almost certainly a self portrait. With its unusual dimensions and painting on the reverse, it might be a one-off study. Regardless, Mohr brilliantly resolves the challenge of guiding the eye down the long, narrow length of the painting. The red shirt forms an arrow which smoothly directs us to the sitter's hand and paint brush.

The abstract composition to the reverse reads well, either vertically or horizontally, as seen in the photos.

Germany c. 1951
47.5" x 9"


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