Lea Grundig

German , 1906 - 1977

Lea Grundig was born in Dresden in 1906. Although raised as an Orthodox Jew, she later found the lifestyle to be too stifling. In 1922 she began her art studies attending the Academy of Arts and Crafts and then at the Academy of Art. Impressed by the works of Barlach, Kokoschka and the "War" cycle by Otto Dix, her convictions as a pacifist were reinforced.

In 1924, she met her future husband, artist Hans Grundig with whom she joined the Communist Party. She was sent by her father, who vehemently objected to her political views, to a sanitarium in Heidelberg. When Hans followed her there, she was sent to Vienna, only to have him follow her again. The couple married in 1928 and lived among their proletarian friends in Dresden. In 1930 the couple joined the new branch of the Communist Association, the Association of German Revolutionary Artists.

Lea Grundig’s concern was in artistically documenting the lives of the working masses. She was primarily a printmaker, creating her most powerful work in the years preceding and following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. In various etching cycles, she aimed to depict the fear, doom and persecution of the early Nazi years.

After 1936, Lea and Hans Grundig were in and out of concentration camps because of their Communist affiliations. Lea eventually emigrated to Palestine, rejoining her husband in Dresden after the war. Lea Grundig died in 1977.
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