ARTWORKinternational INC. Press
New Release  Hans Paap Portraits & Landscapes  A Retrospective of Paap’s Oeuvre & Global Travels (1890-1967)

Paap working in his studio, Germany c.1937-1939

Hans Paap (1890-1967)
, gifted portrait painter, landscape painter and master colorist, traveled and lived all over the world. 
While this provided him with a rich trove of subject matter, it precluded him from establishing himself in one place long enough to earn the recognition his work so richly deserves.

With this book, his daughter, Nancy Paap, seeks to clarify that by shedding light on the life and work of the father she knew only briefly in her childhood.


Hans Paap
Portraits & Landscapes

Author Nancy Paap
Introduction by Bess Murphy, PhD

Parasol Productions
Invisible City Design 
Fire Dragon Color 
Artwork International Inc.
Editor Janet Elder

Printed by Elcograf - Verona, Italy

Still Life with Fruit, Collection of: The Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia, Canada

Dusk on Brazilian Coast, Collection of: Garrett W. and Renee G. Boetsma, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA

Indian in Profile, Taos, New Mexico, Collection of: Nancy Paap, Tesuque, New Mexico, USA

Adobe and Mountains, Collection of: Nancy Paap, Tesuque, New Mexico, USA

The Westerner, Collection of: Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, James D. Hamil Collection
Canyon, Texas, USA

Girl with Katsina Pin, Collection of: Roy Paap, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

The World Through the Eyes of Hans Paap

Excerpted text from Hans Paap Portraits & Landscapes, an introduction by

Bess Murphy, PhD.

Hans Paap’s life as an artist is a familiar one: one of exile, exoticism, seeking and loss. It is also a life punctuated with mystery and ambiguities. This can make the telling of his story a challenge: to tell it without falling back on clichés and unsupported assumptions. What is known is that Paap spent his entire adult life as a working artist and that his surviving legacy rests on his paintings and his daughter’s drive to rebuild a connection with a father from whom she was separated at the age of four. This may seem a tenuous framework upon which to build a story. However, Paap’s paintings not only provide a deeply personal narrative of his experiences, struggles and successes, they also reveal his larger position both within and on the periphery of American art. While his work was in line with general stylistic trends of the time — heading toward abstractionism, but with a healthy dose of regionalism — he was not in his lifetime accepted into the larger canon of twentieth-century American art.

Paap was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1890, on the brink of the twentieth century, and he died in the same city in 1967. He studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and by the time he was in his early twenties he had moved to Veracruz, Mexico, to study and work in lithography, textiles, fabric printing and leatherwork. After that initial foray abroad, Paap spent the rest of his life on a peripatetic journey to familiar and foreign places. He seems to have been driven by the desire to find something. Clues about his life reside in his paintings, a handful of letters, the words of his third wife and many news articles from all over the world. His story is revealed first and foremost, though, through his paintings, a tangible record of the world and the people and places he encountered along the way.

Paap’s biography reads as a romantic but poignant drama. In his earliest years Paap seemed to be seeking a career that allowed for both financial stability and creative expression. Choosing to study lithography in Mexico rather than in a closer, more familiar European city suggests that not only was he following his father’s demand that he learn a trade, but that he was also seeking adventure. Had he been satisfied with becoming a master printer pulling images of other artists’ visions, he would probably have remained there and his story would have been radically different. Instead, Paap returned to Germany, where he switched from printmaking to filmmaking. His sortie into filmmaking was relatively short lived. However, it is likely that Paap spent the war years working as an art director and production designer in the nascent German film industry. He remained in his homeland for the duration of World War I. Perhaps it was dissatisfaction with these somewhat more practical pursuits that caused him to leave Germany again, but it may simply have been to escape the lingering trauma of war-time life. By 1919 he was working full-time as a painter in Argentina...


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