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Eberhard Viegener- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Eberhard Viegener

30.05.1890 Soest - 04.01.1967 Ense bei Soest
Alfred Flechtheim and Eberhard Viegener

Eberhard Viegener remained very close to Westphalia where he grew up and to the artists who worked there. He was friends with Christian Rohlfs, Wilhelm Morgner and Wilhelm Wulff and was one of a circle of artists including Milly Steger and Will Lammert who regularly met in Karl Ernst Osthaus’ residence, Hohenhof, in Hagen. After studying painting and attending the painting class in Hagen, he initially worked in his parents’ company before training to be a stage painter. He later spent some time in Switzerland and in Paris in 1928. He gained considerable inspiration for his work from the Folkwang Museum in Hagen and this, as well as his own idiosyncratic talent, is mirrored in his work from the early 1920s. From this Expressionist phase he then turned to painting coloured fields with clearly defined outlines – a style that would mark his work for decades to come. His works were removed from public collections during the ‘Degenerate Art’ campaign.

After the re-opening of Flechtheim’s gallery in Düsseldorf in 1919, the first portfolio of his work ‘Mond über Soest’ appeared. Viegener and Flechtheim had met in 1919 through the artists’ association ‘Das Junge Rheinland’. He participated in the group’s first exhibition in Düsseldorf when he presumably came to Flechtheim’s attention. Apart from the portfolio already mentioned, other portfolios of graphic works followed as well as a solo exhibition. In September 1919 Flechtheim organisied the artist’s first one-man show at which 67 oil paintings and watercolours, 16 lino and woodcuts and four cycles of graphic works were exhibited. That same year Flechtheim and Viegener entered a contractual agreement. In 1921, however, a rift developed between the two and the agreement – which guaranteed the artist 300 Marks a month – was dissolved. Viegener felt that Flechtheim was taking advantage of him as he demanded a certain number of pictures on a regular basis. Liberating himself from the gallery owner was ultimately to have an effect on his artistic career. Flechtheim had provided considerable support for Viegener and sold a large number of the artist’s works at the solo exhibition alone.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

September–Oktober 1919

Eberhard Viegener
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

April–Mai 1919

Wiedereröffnungs-Ausstellungen »Zur neuen Kunst« Expressionisten, Alte Kunst, Van Gogh, Franzosen, Rheinländer und Westfalen. Erste Ausstellung
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34