Friedrich Karl Gotsch – A German Expressionist Painter & Graphic Artist

Friedrich Karl Gotsch or Friedrich Gotsch or Karl Gotsch, a German 'Expressionist' painter and graphic artist, was born in the year 1900, around the Northern Shores in Kiel, Germany. Gotsch's father was employed in the shipbuilding industry. With ample exposure to both, the German, and the Scandinavian traditions, he was fluent in most of the Nordic languages.

After the artist graduated from the secondary school in 1917, he followed his father's interests and worked with German armed forces as a sailor, from 1918 to 1919. Post war, Friedrich joined the University of Kiel and continued with his studies. Here, he was introduced to painting and drawing as extra-curricular activities, which he embroidered whole-heartedly. Friedrich Karl Gotsch soon gave up his studies and took private tuitions from the painter and the graphic artist, Hans Ralfs, in Kiel. Ralfs introduced Gotsch to the impressive works of Edvard Munch. In the year 1920, Friedrich's first solo exhibition was held at the 'Kunsthalle Kiel,' and the same year he joined the Art Academy in Dresden. Here, initially Hettner and Oskar later, trained & influenced the artist.

The early works of the artist reflect the heavy influence of the 'Expressionist' works of his teachers. In 1923, one of Karl's teachers, Kokoschka, left the academy and wave the reminder of his salary to his students. With this money, Gotsch traveled to the US and later on went on a study trip to Paris (1926-27), Italy (1928), Southern France (1929), and Munich (1932-33). After returning, Gotsch developed a body of woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings, depicting the works of Scandinavian authors, such as Kmut Hamsun, Henrik Ibsen, and Jens Peter Jabobsen. In 1933, the artist settled in Berlin. Owing to the rise of Nazis, however, he found it extremely difficult to work freely. He was often persecuted. During the World War II in 1939, the artist was sent to the forces primarily as a translator of Nordic languages.

After the war, Friedrich Karl Gotsch settled in St. Petersburg. Peter, a small village on the North Sea, where he mainly focused on culture politics. After 1951, Gotsch focused on his self developed, 'Late Expressionist,' technique. He also painted 'Naturalistic' & 'Mimetic' pictures. He also experienced with the multi-block, colored woodcuts. In the later part of his life, Friedrich Karl Gotsch received several awards and honors, including an invitation to the Villa Massimo in Rome and the establishment of KF Gotsch Stiftung in 1968, at the state museum in Schleswig-Holstein. Gotsch passed away in 1984 at Schleswig, Germany.