Werner Wildner (Nashville, Tennessee, 1925-2004) surrealist watercolor and gouache on paper painting of a gnome and scarecrow in a barren landscape, with owl swooping overhead. The gnome is rendered in bright colors while all around him is monochrome and solemn. Signed with artist’s initial lower left. Double matted and framed under glass in a molded silvered frame. 9-1/4″ x 11-1/2″ sight, 15″ x 17″ framed. Provenance: a Nashville, Tennessee estate. 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 of his art (at what is now known as Cheekwood). 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: Minor toning to paper, overall very good condition.
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