The Archive

The archive Werner Zöhl founded in 2016 will preserve and present his entire large corpus of more than 8000 works containing oil paintings, pastels, water colours, wood cuts and drawings. In addition to the exhibitions the archive offers the room and opportunity for the interested public and scholars to study his work individually. A comprehensive image database of Zöhl’s works is also available. A corpus of his complete works is currently in preparation.

Individual presentations of Werner Zöhl’s oeuvre are possible by appointment in the archive rooms as well as in his workshop at In der Surheide 54. Please contact us in good time.

Werner Zöhl (1926-2012)

Born in 1926 in Stendal (Altmark), Werner Zöhl began painting in high school through his art teacher Prof. Erwin Hahs (1887-1970). Hahs had been expelled from the renowned art school Burg Giebichenstein in 1933 because his art was defamed as “degenerate” (entartet). In Stendal he introduced the young Zöhl to the world of modern art previously unknown to him.

When Zöhl came to Bremen in 1948 after three years of war captivity in England and had to become a mason to obtain a residency permit, it was Hahs who gave him the advice not to “waste his time” with art schools. In the following years studying the works of painters like Klee, Feininger or Mondrian Zöhl found his own way to his characteristic stile. Soon he had his first success with exhibitions in Bremen, Hamburg or Hannover. Zöhl was one of the founders of the “Neues Forum” in Bremen, drew portraits for the „Evangelischer Literaturbeobachter“, found friends and supporters, received public commissions for “Kunst am Bau” and in 1951 a price for young art in Niedersachsen. Two unusual travels were impressive experiences at the time: 1958 when he accompanied a delegation to Russia and Georgia an 1960 with a group of architects to Poland.

When Zöhl retreated from the public art life and settled with his family in Fischerhude in 1964 he joined with a circle of artist friends. Over the course of almost fifty years while his art has found a lot of recognition in his workshop, in galleries and with many collectors he became a painter from Fischerhude – in his very own way.