ARTISTS / Modern art
Otto Baum

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Otto Baum
Otto Baum 1952 Photo: Herbert Merkle
1900born in Leonberg
1920-22Due to war wounds to the right upper arm, the learned profession can no longer be carried out, therefore working as a wood sculptor and inlay artist
1924-27Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart with Robert Poetzel-berger, Arnold Waldschmidt and Hans Spiegel
 Initially self-taught as a sculptor
 Promotion by Manfred Breuninger
1927-29Freelance sculptor in Stuttgart
1929Trip to Paris and first encounter with Constantin Brâncuși and Hans Arp
1930Purchase of the "Standing Girl" from the publisher Hermann Reckendorff, who donates it to the Berlin National Gallery
1930-34Continues studying sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart under Ludwig Habich.
 Begins to receive support from Hugo Borst
1937is defamed in the exhibition "Degenerate Art" in Munich
1937-45Continues to work in hiding as an ostracized artist
1946-65Professorship for sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart
1949/50Settles in Esslingen
1957Participation in the important exhibition "German Art of the Twentieth Century", Museum of Modern Art, New York
1960Artist film of the SDR
 Commitment against the nuclear rearmament of the German armed forces
 Withdrawal from art life and breaking off of private contacts
1977died in Esslingen
Throughout his life, through all turmoil, Otto Baum has continuously and consistently championed the freedom of pictorial form. Active primarily in the Stuttgart area, the sculptor recognized, pursued, and applied the potential of pure form in favor of heightened expression. Early on, in the 1920s, he went against the prevailing artistic spirit of the time in sculpture, which was still committed to the mimetic, and turned in expression to a formal language that became increasingly abstract in the course of his creative period. At the same time, an important feature of Baum's art remains his constant sculptural exploration of the degree of abstraction. One of his soul mates in the field of abstracting figurativeness is Hans Arp, whom Baum admired. Baum's constant efforts to achieve a reductive formal language through a freer design approach, as well as his search for archetypal forms in formal orientation to Constantin Brâncuși, culminate in works of perfect form made of the materials bronze, wood or stone. Until then, Baum's works, described by Kurt Leonhard as "cubic" sculptures, were initially still committed to the figurative, but it was not until the postwar years and increasingly in his late work that Baum broke with object-relatedness, his formal language becoming visibly more abstract. In Baum's case, to quote Kurt Leonhard once again, "the depictive principle takes second place to the ur-formative", an assessment that particularly distinguishes the characteristics of his sculptures, since they are based on the striving for the primordial, which he has in common with Willi Baumeister. 
Schloss Dätzingen / D-71120 Grafenau
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Kleiner Schlossplatz 11 / D-70173 Stuttgart
T + 49 (0) 711 / 120 41 51
F + 49 (0) 711 / 120 42 80
Opening hours
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Saturday 11 – 17
or by appointment

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