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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / German Expressionism / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Alfons Graber (Austria, 1901-1990): Cain and Abel

German Expressionism: Survey I / Survey II / Survey III

"Käthe Kollwitz and German Expressionism" featured over fifty works by Käthe Kollwitz plus additional works byJosef Albers,
Ernst Barlach, Rudolf Bauer, Max Beckmann, Peter Behrens, Heinrich Campendonck, Marc Chagall, Lovis Corinth,
Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, Conrad Felixmuller, Hans Fronius, Alfons Graber, Otto Greiner, Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel,
Hannah Hoch, Karl Hofer,Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ludwig Meidner,
Edvard Munch, Gabrielle Munter, Heinrich Nauen, Emile Nolde, Max Pechstein, Hilla von Rebay, Georges Rouault,
Rudolf Schlichter, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Siegfried Schott, Georg Tappert, Wilhelm Wagner, and others.

German Expressionist Drawings

The Russians: Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Goncharova, Larionov, and Malevich
Graber was born in Steinach, Austria. He studied art at the In Munchner Kunstakademie with Becker-Gundahl. He continued his studies at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna, first with Ferdinand Andri, then with Alois Delugessen in the Meisterschule. He was a Professor at Innsbruck from 1931-52. Some of his works are collected in the Alfons Graber Museum in Steinach am Brenner, Tirol. Graber's work, which won several prizes during the 1930s, has been described as "Neo-Baroque," a term one could employ to describe much Expressionist painting at a time when Expressionism was much out of favor in right-wing circles. Kokoschka, who had fled Austria first for Prague and then England during the Nazi years, seems to have been a powerful influence on Graber.
Alfons Graber (Austria, 1901-1990), Cain and Abel. Oil painting on Masonite board, c. 1930. The story of Cain and Abel is many stories: the story of the first fratricide, the story of the first murderer, the story of the first victim, the story of the first grieving parents. Signed "A. Graber" lower right. Image size: 398x305mm. Price: $12,500.
"Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the LORD.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.” Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden" (Genesis 4: 1-16).

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