Karl Horst Hödicke is an artist whose career has traversed nearly the entire history of postwar German art. Celebrated for his raw expressionism, Hödicke’s works chart a path of unwavering commitment to the fundamental elements of painterly practice, with unfiltered concentration, energy, and movement. The artist’s subjects range from the everyday world of objects to the most intimate moments of family and discovery to the monuments and narratives of a particular culture or place. Throughout his career, Hödicke has returned again and again to topics pulled from legends and fables, producing vibrant pictures composed of fragments and single figures. MYTHS offers rare insight into this period of activity, especially during the 1970s and 80s, highlighting the subtle gradations of colour, perspective, and themes that run throughout the artist’s pictorial worlds.

In the almost twenty paintings included in the exhibition, myths belong to many of the themes of the individual works – Medea, sirens, magicians, ancient columns, and haunting views of the ocean, to name a few – but also to the manner in which Hödicke paints, where he creates something almost totemic out of his characters and scenes. Presented in such a way in the capacious Nave of St. Agnes, this carefully selected grouping of works emphasizes a more meditative and introspective side to the artist’s work, a temperament that has been less appreciated within Hödicke’s prodigious output. Myths are not just stories but ways of seeing and translating the world, and in this respect, the works on display here belong very much to the unique language that Hödicke has developed over seven decades of activity – vigorously alive and unabashedly direct.





Karl Horst Hödicke (1938–2024) was a contemporary German artist known for his Neo-Expressionist paintings. The artist’s broad brushstrokes and specific colour palette provide his works with a sense of seeing a place through memory – specifically Berlin with its ever-changing cityscape was a central motif in his work. Having moved to Berlin in 1957, Hödicke became one of the spokespeople for a small group of impetuous young lateral thinkers who wanted to revolutionise painting. No sooner had German post-war modernism rejoined the international artistic trend towards the abstract than they revolted against this new doctrine with a revival of...
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