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abouttheartist

Willy Kissler

1924 – Schwelm, Germany 2011 – Swakopmund

Resided to Namibia in 1954

Worked in watercolor, very rarely in oil, glazing of church windows, murals; subject matter: landscapes

Profile:

Began his vocational training in the field of archtitecture. It was in his profession that he came to participate in the Reich´s Intervocational Contests at the same time and in 1941 emerged as the regional champion of the Ennepe-Ruhr District. Meanwhile, the Second World War had broken out and the 18-year old was conscripted into the German navy. In Brest, France, he met with Professor Ernst Pensberg who performed his military duty here and, as an artist of repute, was furnished with a studio of his own. Soon, Kissler spent every free period in Professor Pensberg´s studio. Here one held discussions, painted and, at times, even forgot about the war. Young Kissler showed talent, and it pleased Pensberg to instruct him in the restoring of paintings. During the two years in Brest numerous sketches and watercolour studies of the Breton coast and picturesque villages saw light. Unfortunately the entire portfolio was lost in the course of the invasion. Kissler was taken prisoner of war and returned home in 1946.

From 1948 onwards he took art lessons from painter and graphic artist Horst Hagen, attended the Art and Craft School at Wuppertal, Germany, and resided in Namibia 1954. It took him a few years to became widely known locally. He was the only one in the country still able to practice the near-extinct craft of designing and shaping artistic glassworks, as councellor in colour problems, since he was attached to the local paint industry for many years and have been employed by S.W.A. Paint Factory as a colour consultant. This position provided him with a basic income and so enabled him to concentrate on furthering his art.

In conjunction with Professor Otto Schroeder he carried out lead galzings and mural paintings during the years 1960-1963. It was through Schroeder that he came into contact with Adolph Jentsch and Kissler´s watercolours refect a touch of past master Jentsch´s technique. His oilpaintings and watercolours may be found in the collections of prominent personalities of the Namibian government, the Art Association of Swakopmund collection, and with Mr Martti Athisaari, Finland, Mr Louis Piennar, South Africa, Dr Strauss, USA and Mr Hans Frömming, Germany to name but a few.

Kissler´s attachment to nature lies at the roof of his fascination for the Namibian landscape which, as an artist, he expertly interprets with brush and palette. Aside from talent it is his command of the techniques of his art which forms the basis of his creative activity.

Worked as an expert on stained glass windows for the Roman Catholic Churches in Namibia.

Exhibitions:

Participated in group exhibitions in Windhoek and Swakopmund and South Africa.

Public Collections:

Art Association Swakopmund

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