The artists Tobias Duwe, Lars Möller and Till Warwas belong to
the group of North German Realists, which has been dedicated
to the theme of painting in front of nature, plein air painting, for
more than three decades. The challenges of painting outdoors
under the northern German sky due to changing weather and
light conditions often force the artists to work quickly, resulting
in a very dynamic representation of their subjects and objects.
An impasto application of paint and the dominance of clear and
contrasting colour tones often lend the paintings an impressive
effect of immediacy.
For the joint exhibition „Elbwärts“ (Towards the Elbe), Duwe, Möller
and Warwas have approached numerous well-known motifs along
the river, but also striking places in the Hamburg cityscape, which
they have captured with a fresh eye, artistically documenting the
changes in the city and nature. The exhibition in the Jenisch Haus
presents almost 100 pictures, some of them in large format, most
of which were taken especially for the exhibition and mostly plein
air, and are thus on public display for the first time. Among the
motifs are views of the Elbe beach, the Jenischpark and the harbour,
special impressions of the Schanzenviertel and the Speicherstadt
as well as panoramas of the Alster and its surroundings.
With their plein air paintings, the North German Realists Tobias
Duwe, Lars Möller and Till Warwas stand in the tradition of
influential landscape painters such as Max Liebermann, Friedrich
Kallmorgen, Max Slevogt or Thomas Herbst, who as early as the
19th century captured in paintings the then still partially undeveloped
Elbe slope as well as the views of the Elbe from parks and
With support by
Pleinair is the open-air painting or painting in nature (from French: en plein air: “outdoors”), in which the pictures are not created in the studio but in the open air. The term plein-air painting was primarily coined by the French artist scene of the 19th century, whose painting of nature enjoyed growing popularity and reached its peak in the second half of the 19th century. Plein-air painting is not only about the most faithful possible reproduction of the respective place or nature in dialogue with the people, the landscape or the architecture, but also about capturing the concrete, fleeting moment on site and about a representation of the selected subject that is as unembellished as possible.
The paintings of the North German Realists stands for an artistic activity in the open air. In her case, however, the term “realistic painting” does not necessarily mean a mimetic depiction of the motif, rather the focus is on the subjectively perceived atmosphere and the goal of capturing the respective lighting conditions in an artistic way. This approach became known above all through the artists of Impressionism, whose stylistic processes and peculiarities can also be found in the pictures of the North German Realists.
Tobias Duwe, born in Bad Oldesloe in 1961, studied at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences with Almut Heise and Tom Knoth. In addition to landscape painting, themes from industry and the world of work determine his artistic work. He lives in Grossensee and works in his studio in Grande near Hamburg and in St. Aulaire, France. Since 1992 he has taken part in the symposia of the North German Realists.
Lars Möller was born in Hamburg in 1968 and studied at the University of Applied Sciences for Design in Hamburg with Erhard Göttlicher. After completing his studies, he worked as a freelance illustrator for the magazine “Rolling Stone” and lectured on color and form at the HAW in the design department. Today he lives in Hamburg and has been a member of the artist group Norddeutsche Realisten since 1998.
Till Warwas was born in Bremen in 1962 and studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where he was a master student with Klaus Fussmann. Warwas had lectureships at various summer academies. Today he lives and works in Bremen. Warwas has taken part in the symposia of the North German Realists since 2002.