From 1925 onwards, Wehrlin exhibits his
work at the Salon d’Automne. The thirties saw the production
of numerous Parisian landscapes, the interior of his workshop, the
one he had in rue Vercingétorix in Montparnasse and then the
one in Montrouge, where he lived in Montrouge from 1934 to 1938. In
1925, Wehrlin meets Germaine Dupuis, later to become not just his
wife but his main model, except for « La Grecque », a
well-formed model who was famous in Montparnasse and who incidentally
later married Arno Breker, the official sculptor for the Third Reich.
« La Grecque » c. 1926
Oil on canvas - 74 x 54.5
Still life with figs c.1928
oil on card - 60 x 80
by the atmosphere of Montparnasse, with his workshop on the rue Vercingétorix,
Wehrlin attacks a number of subjects using many different techniques,
portraits, nudes, brothel scenes, groups of people on cafe terraces, Parisian
landscapes, still life, just about everything. In 1932 he becomes a member
of the Küstlergruppe at the Winterthur museum, where every year thereafter
he was to exhibit his works, right up to the year he died.
Amongst his friends in Montparnasse : the sculptors Otto Bänninger
and his wife Germaine Richier, Walter Linck and his wife, the Berne ceramics
celebrity, Margrit Linck-Daepp. He often visits his workshop neighbour,
Alberto Giacommetti, Willy the « Varlin » Guggenheim and the
Berne sculptor, Serge Brignoni also being amongst his friends in Montparnasse.
In Montrouge, he was to become the neighbour and close friend of the Swiss
painter Max Gubler
View of the
Montrouge workshop 1936
Oil on canvas 92 x 125
The « blue » workshop on rue Vercingétorix
Oil on canvas - 99 x 130
« Au café » c.1925
Oil on jute - 64.5 x 98.5
Towards 1930, thanks to his meeting with Jacques Villon, he rediscovers
etching, a technique in which Kirchner had initiated him five years earlier.
Once again he wastes no time numbering and signing his work. He is above
all experimenting and many of his works are one-off copies, artist’s
proof copies. Between each impression he reworks the copper plate or goes
over the outlines of the copy in Indian ink.
makes no distinction between the supports he uses. He draws and paints
on anything that comes to hand : the back of envelopes, old cardboard,
headed note paper, sack cloth just about stretching over a make-do frame.
The reason for this is not shoddy workmanship. What matters above all
to him is the research and the expression of that research. Never mind
the future of the object that a painting or a drawing represents, what
matters to him is the creative instant.
Ink drawing on paper
Oil on canvas - 58x75