Am Fenster. 1922. Oil on canvas. Wohlert 488. Lower right monogrammed (in ligature). 70.7 x 59 cm (27.8 x 23.2 in). With a discarded and scraped out landscape composition on rear. Early depiction of one the most significant subjects.
LITERATURE: Benno Reifenberg, Karl Hofer, Leipzig 1924, with illu. "This painting with the two women looking out of a window shows a motif that the artist depicted in many variations time and again over decades. It is very typical of Hofer; even withut a signature one would doubtlessly ascribe it to Karl Hofer." (Bernhard Wohlert, 2006)
Girls on a window are one of the most important subjects in Karl Hofer's pictorial body of works. This painting is one of the earliest depictions of this type, if not the earliest of all. Karl Hofer seems to have been particularly fond of the lady lifting the curtain, as he used her in many variations of this subject. Owed to her statuary calmness, the topless girl resting on the widow sill must be seen as an opposite pole to the standing lady. At an early point Hofer made the decision to render his figures in escapist silhouettes that show them isolated from the world that surrounds them. The triangular composition, which was a common compositional means in early Renaissance pictures of saints, provides a tranquilized expressiveness in this work which is underlined by the inner state of the contemplative persons. Early in his artistic career did Karl Hofer make the step towards a pictorial world that was not in line with the objective Realism of his days, creating an opposite pole to contemporary tendencies. Without ever leaving reality, Karl Hofer conceived a canon in his figure pictures that allowed him to pursue his own path without any notion of gallery play. [KD]