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- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Ernst Barlach

02.10.1870 Wedel - 24.10.1938 Rostock
Alfred Flechtheim and Ernst Barlach

From the very outset, the sculptor, graphic artist and writer Ernst Barlach was considered a lone figure among Expressionist artists. Nevertheless he had considerable success during the Weimar Republic with his wooden sculptures infused with emotional pain and life’s burdens. After a trip to Russia in 1906 Barlach finally managed to separate himself from the academic canon. The countryside he saw and the Russian peasants and beggars he met inspired him to adopt a clear, Cubist formal language. He developed simple, earthy figures which he gave abstract garments and simple gestures. The withdrawn bearing of his figures which convey a haunting expression of existential introversion also characterises Barlach’s public monuments to warn against war. Monumental works that were met with strong protests during the Weimar Republic were removed by the Nazis and largely destroyed. In 1937 more than 400 works by Ernst Barlach fell victim to the ‘Degenerate Art’ campaign.

Flechtheim regularly exhibited Barlach’s sculptures and graphic works ever since the opening of his gallery in Düsseldorf in 1913. After Barlach’s art dealer Paul Cassirer committed suicide in 1926 Flechtheim became the sculptor’s sales representative. Not only did Flechtheim provide Barlach with a loan for a new studio in Güstrow in Mecklenburg, he also encouraged him to work intensively in bronze. In 1930 he agreed with the artist to the casting of an initial series of twenty works based on models he had made since 1907. That same year, the works were shown as part of a successful solo exhibition held both in Berlin and Düsseldorf. The continuation of the casting project originally planned in 1931 was, however, never realised, ultimately due to Flechtheim’s emigration and the increasing defamation as a ‘degenerate’ artist that Barlach faced.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

November–Dezember 1930

Bronzen von Ernst Barlach
Berlin, Düsseldorf (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

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

März–April 1914

Edvard Munch, Ernst Barlach
Düsseldorf, Alleestraße 7

Juli–August 1919

Auf dem Wege zur Kunst unserer Zeit. Vorkriegsbilder und Bildwerke
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Juni 1929

Lebende deutsche Kunst aus rheinischem Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

März–April 1930

Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Dezember 1931 – Januar 1932

Weihnachten 1931
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Mai–Juni 1932

111 Porträts zeitgenössischer Künstler. Selbstbildnisse. Bildnisse von Malern, Dichtern, Schauspielern, Musikern, Boxern usw.
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Januar–Februar 1931

Ehrenmal für den Dom zu Güstrow (ausgestellt in den Galerieräumen)
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1932

Sommer 1932: Alte Meister. 19. Jahrhundert. Lebende Kunst. Galerie Hans Bammann (Blumenstrasse 11), Galerie Georg Paffrath (Königsallee 46), Galerie Alfred Flechtheim
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

November–Dezember 1930

Seit Liebermann in Deutschland. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Januar–Februar 1933

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