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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

06.05.1880 Aschaffenburg - 15.06.1938 Frauenkirch-Wildboden, Switzerland
Alfred Flechtheim and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Even during his architecture studies that he completed in 1905, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner started to preoccupy himself with painting. While in France Les Nabis and the Fauves formed programmatic artist groups, Kirchner founded Die Brücke (The Bridge) together with Erich Heckel, Fritz Bleyl and Karl Schmitt-Rottluff in Dresden that, however, was dissolved in 1913.  
Since the members of the group were living at close quarters in Dresden, a virtually uniform pictorial language evolved initially. Kirchner, who also drafted the group’s programmatic texts, developed his own individual style from 1907 onwards that attracted the attention of collectors, gallery owners and museums. He found his motfis in Berlin’s metropolitan milieu, in streets and cityscapes that harmonised with his expressive formal language and with which those customers who were open to modern art could identify. Kirchner and Heckel received a commission to paint murals in the chapel at the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne in 1912 at which Alfred Flechtheim played a decisive role in its organisation. Flechtheim is certain to have met Kirchner in 1914 too, when the painter designed a stand at the Werkbundausstellung in Cologne for the tobacco merchant and art collector Josef Feinhals from Cologne. Kirchner was represented by the art dealer Ludwig Schames. However, on several occasions, Flechtheim displayed works by Kirchner at exhibitions in his galleries in Düsseldorf and Berlin, as well as at the last exhibition he held before his emigration which he organised together with the Galerie Cassirer.
World War I severely effected Kirchner for the rest of his life. Having initially volunteered for service, he later became badly ill, both physically and psychologically. He stayed in Davos from 1917/18 onwards and turned to landscape painting. His individual painterly style changed as a consequence as did his palette and he integrated formal elements from the Cubists.
The Nazis declared Kirchner’s work to be ‘degenerate’ and almost 800 of his works were removed from German museums in 1937. That same year he was excluded from the Preußische Akademie der Künste. Deeply hurt by this defamation, Kirchner took his own life one year later in Davos.
Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

August–September 1924

Sommer 1924
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Juni–August 1927

Das Problem der Generation. Die um 1880 geborenen Meister von heute Erster Teil: Die Deutschen
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

November–Dezember 1930

Seit Liebermann in Deutschland. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik
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