Art Exhibitions

Otto Dunkelsbuhler - San Sebastian - Skaneateles Area Arts Council

Otto Dunkelsbuhler titled this painting ‘San Sebastian”, Spain, 1957.

Skaneateles Area Arts Council was  pleased to present a “one night only” special reception to premier rare original paintings of Otto Dunkelsbuehler (1898-1977) on Saturday, April 5, 2008 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Athenaeum of Skaneateles. The art show featured over 40 paintings (dating back to 1920’s), of the artist who was born in Munich, Germany, was half-Jewish German World War I veteran. To overcome the bad years after WW I, during which he had lost a leg and received the highest decoration possible for his rank, he developed a successful international career as a graphic designer. In 1929 he changed to landscaping in order to paint without the restrictions of doing industrial design. He traveled throughout Europe (France, Britain, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland).  His specific style was a vibrant, new synthesis of Realism, Cubism, Impressionism, sometimes with abstract and expressionist ideas.  His goal for his painting was to uplift the spirits of observers by use of light colors, which he found most easily in the South of Europe.  He studied art in Berlin, Munich and Paris;

Dunkelsbuehler’s paintings were banned in Germany from 1933-1945; he was forced to paint in hiding in the Black Forest, was persecuted by the Nazis, and was under surveillance by the Gestapo. From 1977-1998, several memorial expositions of his work were held in Europe at: Landshut, Munich; Gallery Alfican, Brussels; Galerie Oltmanns, Bonn; Galerie Boskamp, Hamburg; and Kunthaus Buhler, Berlin. His work has been exhibited in Dusseldorf, Freiburg, Konstanz, Nagold, Stuttgart and Weimar, as well as the Pinakothek der Moderne Museum and the Neue Gruppe, Munich.

Most of the paintings in the Skaneateles Area Arts Council show have never been seen in North America. The artist’s son, Peter Dunkelsbuehler, lives in Skaneateles and is collaborating with the Arts Council as the show’s curator. The “one night only” premier and reception is sponsored by The Athenaeum of Skaneateles and Cowley Associates. “We are honored to sponsor this rare collection of original oil paintings by Otto Dunkelbuehler, and to partner with the Skaneateles Arts Council on this premier,” stated Stephen Bowmen, President, The Athenaeum of Skaneateles.

Paul Cowley, Arts Council board member and co-sponsor of the premier, stated: “As an artist, I was thrilled to discover the incredibly beautiful paintings of Otto Dunkelsbuehler” and I am so delighted that the North American premier of most of his art will be in right here in Skaneateles.”

About Otto Dunkelsbuehler

Dunkelsbuehler, 1898-1977, trained in oil painting at the Art Academy of Munich and the Art Academy of Berlin. His work was influenced by abstract expressionism and impressionism. His reputation and stature in the German art world grew from 1923-1933. He won international competitions for commercial graphic designs in Tokyo, Cologne, London and Berlin, and his art was featured in an exclusive exposition at the Art Gallery Alfred Flechtheim, Berlin in 1932. Dunkelsbuehler was half-Jewish and therefore persecuted by the Nazis. He art was banned in Germany from 1933-1945, by the NS-Department of Culture. His life was saved from the Holocaust by virtue of his distinguished World War I military career, where he received the iron cross, which he wore constantly.  In 1952, he was commissioned to paint a wall in the plenary meeting room of the Department of Labor by the German government. His last exhibition was 1957 at the Art Association of Stuttgart. He was married twice; first to painter Elisabeth Keimer, then to Elisabeth Schaible, and had four children: Gertraut, Peter (of Skaneateles), Gaspard, and Konstanze.

About the Host Sponsor -The Athenaeum of Skaneateles

The Athenaeum of Skaneateles is a premier independent living senior community. Located at 150 East Genesee Street in scenic Skaneateles, NY, it is the picture perfect setting for a life full of abundant charm.