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Oskar Schlemmer- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Oskar Schlemmer

04.09.1888 Stuttgart - 13.04.1943 Baden-Baden
Alfred Flechtheim and Oskar Schlemmer

After training as a craftsman at an early age, Oskar Schlemmer started studying at the art academy in Stuttgart in 1906 and became Adolf Hoelzel’s master pupil in 1913. He completed his military service and founded the ‘Uecht-Gruppe’ in 1919 with Willi Baumeister and Otto Meyer-Amden. He came into contact with Herwarth Walden and ‘Der Sturm’ in Berlin. Having been called to the Bauhaus in 1920 Schlemmer headed the theatre workshop until 1929 and was professor at the academy in Breslau until 1932. In 1933 Schlemmer taught at the Vereinigte Staatsschulen für freie und angewandete Kunst (United State School for Fine and Applied Art) in Berlin. After experimenting with a number of different styles Schlemmer’s main interest became focused on the depiction of ‘de-individualised’ humans in a particular space. Forming a harmonious entity with modern architecture his artificial figures became an allegory of modernity and superordinated principles. In 1922 his Triadisches Ballett had its première in Stuttgart. Thanks to international interest in his work Schlemmer reached the height of his success in 1931 and took part in the XVII Biennale in Venice. However, in 1932, existential changes brought about the premature closure of his solo exhibition in Stuttgart and culminated in his losing his teaching position with immediate effect in May 1933. His murals in public spaces were victims of the systematic persecution of modern art as early as in 1930 and, in the Folkwang Museum Essen, in 1934. “Utterly shattered” Schlemmer contacted Joseph Goebbels in April 1933 “with the urgent request to put a stop to this”, but without success. He took a job at a decorating company in Stuttgart out of financial necessity and worked in a paint factory in Wuppertal from 1940. As a result of the increased interest in his art in America, his painting Bauhaustreppe was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1932 and, in 1938, he was invited to exhibit at the Bauhaus exhibition held there.

Despite widespread participation in exhibitions there are no binding contracts between Schlemmer and gallery owners known to date. In his own records the artist describes the whereabouts of his works as if they were available on a ‘sale on commission’ basis. Schlemmer also remained sceptical about Alfred Flechtheim. For Schlemmer, exhibitions were linked to a financial involvement.

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

Januar 1930

Oskar Schlemmer
Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Berlin W 10, Lützowufer 13

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

November–Dezember 1930

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