Ulfert Wilke


Ulfert Wilke (1907-1987) was a German-American painter known internationally for his calligraphic creations and association with Abstract Impressionism.

Born in Bavaria, Wilke immigrated to America in 1938. In addition to his renowned artistic practice, Wilke earned a reputation as an avid art collector, professor, museum director/curator and calligrapher.

Wilke's artistic output is best known for his lyrical abstractions inspired by calligraphy.

On first glance, this works appears to be contemporary, or at least late 20th century, and heavily influenced by tagging / graffiti art. 

While graffiti emerged in the late 1960's in Philadelphia, it didn't really gel until the mid 1980's in urban centers, notably New York City. 

Remarkably this work was created by a seventy-one year old man, likely far physically and spiritually, from graffiti's nuclei. 

Like the best of Wilke's art, this colorful watercolor and ink work features an abstract, non-lettered configuration inspired by calligraphic writing. In signature Wilke style, these calligraphic abstractions are composed to form rhythmic clusters which also shape the open space surrounding the figure. 

Click here to see another colorful example of Wilke's work. 

Today, Wilke's work can be found in the permanent collections of internationally renowned institutions like the Guggenheim (NY), the Whitney (NY), LACMA (LA), and the Museum of Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv) among many others. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Untitled" (Black Ribbons)

USA, 1980

Watercolor and ink on paper

Signed with artists mark and dated

20"H 14"W (work)

Very good condition.

Note: this work is sold unframed


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