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- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Max Beckmann

12.02.1884 Leipzig - 27.12.1950 New York City
Alfred Flechtheim and Max Beckmann

Max Beckmann is an internationally important, German, classical Modernist painter. The skill shown in his portraits and the strong narrative of his triptychs already met with public acclaim back in the Twenties. From 1933 onwards, however, he was among those artists who were attacked and ostracised by the National Socialists. In the course of 1937 a total of 33 paintings, 11 watercolours, 5 drawings and 636 graphic works by Max Beckmann were removed from German museums. On 17 July 1937, two days before the opening of the ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition, Max Beckmann left Berlin with his wife for Amsterdam.

During his career, Beckmann was represented by the art dealers J.B. Neumann, Karl Nierendorf, Peter Zingler, Paul Cassirer, Alfred Flechtheim, Günther Franke and Curt Valentin. He was under contract to them as early as 1919/20 and this provided him with a basic financial security. The agreed annual sum payable trebbled – in 1930 it amounted to 30,000 Reichsmarks. For this, the dealers received works from the artist that they were allowed to sell at conditions that had previously been agreed – two thirds of the sales price going to Max Beckmann and one third being retained by the dealer in each case. Beckmann was determined to become an international artist represented in Berlin, Munich, Paris and New York. To this aim, Beckmann included Alfred Flechtheim in the existing contract with J.B. Neumann (New York) and in the subcontract with Günther Franke (Munich) in 1927. These dealers organised Beckmann’s solo exhibitions, ensured his inclusion in group exhibitions and arranged museum acquisitions and sales to influential private collectors. However, by February 1930, trouble started to develop between them. Neumann no longer wanted to work with Flechtheim but could not imagine Berlin without a representative and therefore tried to pull Galerie Cassirer on board instead of Flechtheim. The contractual relationship between Flechtheim and Beckmann was ended in early 1931 and accounts divided.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

April–Mai 1928

Max Beckmann
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Januar 1929

Max Beckmann. Neue Gemälde und Zeichnungen
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

März 1932

Max Beckmann
Berlin, Lützowufer 13

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

Juni–August 1927

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

Juni 1929

Lebende deutsche Kunst aus rheinischem Privatbesitz
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34

Sommer 1929

Sommer 1929: Rudolf Grossmann und andere
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)

Sommer 1930

Sommer 1930: Renoir und lebende Meister
Berlin, Düsseldorf, (Lützowufer, Königsallee)