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Walter Heinrich Tanck- Alfred Flechtheim
Art dealer of the Avantgarde

Walter Heinrich Tanck

31.01.1894 Hamburg Blankenese - 10.10.1954 Hamburg Blankenese
Alfred Flechtheim and Walter Heinrich Tanck

From 1911–12 Walther Tanck was a pupil of the Hamburg artist Franz Nölken. At the age of twenty Tanck went to Paris where he became caught up with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. When he returned to Germany, he joined the dragoons and suffered a knee injury that effected him for the rest of his life. Tanck spent 1919–1921 in Düsseldorf, travelled to Italy in 1921 to study, and met his first wife, Fiorenza Percetti, who died at the birth of their twins in 1923. In 1924 Tanck married Ilse Lange, the daughter of the artist Willy Lange who had taught him the art of etching and lithography. The family moved to Hamburg in 1924. He made study trips to Italy and France up until 1928 and participated in exhibitions at the Hamburg Seccession. In 1929/1930 the City of Hamburg commissioned Tanck to paint the assembly hall in the Old Town Hall with landscape scenes of Hamburg. In 1932 the artist exhibited his work at the Galerie Commeter in Hamburg and received support from the banker Richard Samson, in whose villa he was then living. Following persecution, flight and the disappropriation of the Samon family in 1934, the Tanck family needed to find a new place to live in Hamburg. He travelled throughout Germany between 1934 and 1938. In 1937 a folder of works entitled ‘Don Quichote’ in the Kunstsammlungen in Düsseldorf and his oil painting 'Female Nude' in the Hamburger Kunsthalle were confiscated as part of the ‘Degenerate Art’ campaign. The artist’s complete œuvre was destroyed in an air raid in 1943. Tanck fled to Bad Bramstedt by way of southern Germany, where he stayed until 1950, returning to Hamburg in 1951.

Tanck’s works from around 1914 show Paul Cézanne’s influence. Around 1925 he orientated his style on Auguste Renoir. Works with naturalistic features followed on from those in the Impressionist style. In 1920 Flechtheim exhibited several oil paintings by Tanck that he had made in 1917–19. These comprise still lifes and landscapes as well as portraits. Etchings of subjects related to Hamburg were also exhibited. In 1921 Walther Tanck created his eighth folder of etchings for the Galerie Flechtheim which include fifteen sheeets on the Don Quixote theme.  

Individual exhibitons at the Galerie Flechtheim

Group exhibitions at the Galerie Flechtheim

März–April 1920

In memoriam Lehmbruck † Paul Klee, Walter Tanck
Düsseldorf, Königsallee 34