Oskar Schlemmer

German , 1888 - 1943

Oskar Schlemmer was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1888. He became a student of Adolf Hoelzel’s at the Akademie in 1906. In 1910, Schlemmer moved to Berlin and became involved in dance and the avant-garde theater. He began exhibiting paintings in 1914 at the Galerie Arnold in Dresden and the Sturm Gallery in Berlin. Also in 1914, he volunteered for military service and was wounded on both Fronts. In 1916 he produced the critically acclaimed Triadic Ballet and by 1919 he had achieved a remarkable personal artistic style.

Schlemmer choreographed Kokoschka’s “Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen” in 1921 and, during the same year, he joined the Bauhaus and quickly became one of the school’s most influential teachers. Schlemmer resigned from the school in 1929 and began teaching at the Breslau Akademie. He worked on murals for the Folkwang Museum in Essen and also worked at the Vereinigte Staatsschulen for one year before being dismissed in 1933. During the last decade of his life, Schlemmer worked for a paint manufacturer in Wuppertal.

Although Schlemmer’s print oeuvre was limited, he produced a number of lithographs. He also completed one etching and a few linocuts after 1931. The context of his work in prints reflects his analytical concern with the use of pure line to convey the movement of the human figure.
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