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Christian Rohlfs- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Christian Rohlfs

22.12.1849 Niendorf (Holstein) - 08.01.1938 Hagen (Westfalen)
Alfred Flechtheim and Christian Rohlfs

The painter and graphic artist Christian Rohlfs was an unusually adaptable artist who only received public acclaim late in life. After studying at the Großherzogliche Kunstschule he initially stayed in Weimar before he moved to Hagen after being asked by Karl Ernst Osthaus to take on the management of a school of painting at the Folkwang Museum. While still in Weimar Rohlfs focussed on landscape painting. This was accompanied by a tendency away from realism towards Impressionism. After a brief Neo-Impressionist phase (1902/03) he ultimately turned to Expressionism. Rohlfs was a member of the Berlin Secession and, from 1914, the Freie Sezession, among others. On the occasion of his 75th birthday, he was made an honorary citizen of Hagen and elected a member of the Preußische Akademie der Künste in Berlin. From 1927 Rohlfs lived some of the time in Ascona on Lago Maggiore in Switzerland. The City of Hagen founded the Christian Rohlfs Museum to mark the artist’s 80th birthday. In 1937 he was defamed as a ‘degenerate’ artist, was prohibited from exhibiting and was excluded from the Preußische Akademie der Künste. 412 of his works were removed from German museum collections. Rohlfs’ wife managed to save several works and take them to Switzerland. In the year of his death commemorative exhibitions were held in Basel, Bern and Zurich.

Through the patronage of Karl Ernst Osthaus Rohlfs did not have to rely on being represented by an art dealer as much as other artists. Alfred Flechtheim and Christian Rohlfs met at the latest through the Sonderbund Westdeutscher Kunstfreunde und Künstler, founded in 1909, for which Flechtheim was the treasurer and provided works by French artists for exhibitions. Rohlfs joined the association in 1909 and took part at its exhibitions in Düsseldorf held in 1909 and 1910. The first sales of works through Flechtheim also date from this time. From 1913 Rohlfs was represented at a number of art dealer’s group exhibitions. In 1919 Flechtheim organised a solo exhibition for the artist to mark his 70th birthday. Two oil paintings wre acquired by the Düsseldorf municipal art collections. In 1930 Flechtheim wrote an article on Christian Rohlfs for the Berlin magazine ‘Das Tagebuch’ and Rohlfs work was included in ‘Der Querschnitt’ in 1921, 1925 and 1929, each time with an illustration.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

Juni–Juli 1919

Christian Rohlfs (Zum siebzigsten Geburtstage des Meisters)
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

Dezember 1913

Beiträge zur Kunst des XIX. Jahrhunderts und unserer Zeit. Zusammengestellt von Dr.Paul Mahlberg. Herausgegeben anläßlich ihrer Eröffnung von der Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, GmbH
Düsseldorf, Alleestraße 7

Juli–September 1914

Sommer-Ausstellung. Rheinische Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts und unserer Zeit
Düsseldorf, Alleestraße 7

Juli–September 1920

Sommer 1920. Ostasiatische Gemälde. Künstler vom Niederrhein, aus Westfalen und Frankreich
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Oktober 1921

Eröffnungsausstellung: Deutsche und französische Kunst aus des XX. Jahrhunderts Beginn
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

November–Dezember 1924

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Dezember 1924

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Februar–März 1933

Lebendige deutsche Kunst. Ausstellungsfolge in drei Abteilungen. Veranstaltet von Paul Cassirer und Alfred Flechtheim. Dritte Ausstellung beim Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer
Berlin, Viktoriastraße 35

Juni 1917

Galerie Alfred Flechtheim. Moderne Gemälde. Auktion durch Paul Cassirer und Hugo Helbing in den Versteigerungsräumen
Berlin, Kurfürstendamm 208-209

Juni 1929

Lebende deutsche Kunst aus rheinischem Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34