1880 - 1942
|Der Garten Ten Lithographs 1917, Wiesdbaden|
Born in Limburg/Lahn but went as a child with his family to Munich where he studied art at the Academy with Franz von Stuck and Hugo von Habermann. From 1907-1912 he studied with the highly influential Adolf Hölzel at Stuttgart, experimenting with colour separated from the representation of the material world.
In 1917 he married the artist Gertrud Alber and moved to Wiessbaden. He met Heinrich Kirchhoff there and immediately drew from the latter's exotic garden. He recalled, that the Garden "with its exotic impressions and fantastic flowers provided new fodder for one's exciteable fantasy... men gravitated to the flowers, the plants gravitated to men, thus arose a new Paradise." Evocations of spirituality were never far from his work, even when the context appears secular.
Der Garten shows his work at its lyrical best, the year of his marriage, and before an uneasy primitivism that came into his prints after 1920. His sense of colour is original and highly effective in depicting the light and colour of the natural world.
In 1920 he joined the Novembergruppe associating him with the radical Socialist Left. However his work became increasingly orientated to the spiritual rather than providing a critique of Society. His work was seen as Degenerate. It was confiscated and destroyed after Hitler's succession to power in 1933. He died in poverty in 1942.
Many thanks to Michael T. Ricker for his help with this material.