Two surrealist artworks by Werner Wildner (Nashville, Tennessee, 1925-2004). 1st item: Drawing with watercolor of a gnome, wearing a hat and holding a stick, perched atop a ball. Signed and dated, Wildner 1990, lower left. Gray mat with hand-stenciled border. Sight: 12-1/4″ x 8″. Matted: 20″ x 16″. 2nd item: Pencil drawing of a gnome’s face with cat emerging from the back of his head, signed W on left. Gray mat with hand stenciled border. Sight: 7-5/8″ x 6-5/8″, Matted: 20″ x 16″. Provenance: Private Middle Tennessee collection; a personal gift to the consignor from the artist. Biography: Wildner was born in Germany but moved to Detroit with his family as a child and, as a teenager, to Nashville. He served in the Army in 1944 and went on to study art briefly at the Mienzinger Art School in Detroit. He returned to Nashville to practice commercial art, but by the mid-1950s had decided to pursue his own art career. Whimsical animals and fantastical, often grotesque creatures were a recurring theme of his work. Wildner met with critical and commercial success after a 1962 exhibit (at what is now known as Cheekwood Museum of Art). However, the death of his parents and collapse of his marriage in the 1970s led him to become reclusive in the last two decades of his life. Condition: 1st item: Some grime to mat. One tiny dark stain to upper left shoulder of gnome. 2nd item: Fold to left corner of mat, light grime to mat, scattered brown stains to left and lower right side of image.
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