ARTISTS / Modern art
Ludwig Meidner

Available works
1884born in Bernstadt, Silesia
1901/02Bricklayer apprenticeship, career goal architect. Breaks off the apprenticeship, however, to apply to the Royal School of Art in Breslau
1903-05Studies at the Royal School of Art in Breslau (H. Scheinert and K.Hanusch)
1905/06Discontinues his studies at the academy; moves to Berlin
1906First sales of drawings and paintings; Meidner learns printing techniques from Hermann Struck; mid-July trip to Paris; visits the Cormon, Julian and Hubert Academies; friendship with Amadeo Modigliani
1907deferred from military service
1908Moves to Katowice; founds a painting and drawing school
1909Return to Berlin
1911Beginning of the "expressionist" phase of his work; founds the artists' group "DIE PATHETIKER
1912Exhibition of "DIE PATHETIKER" (Meidner, Steinhardt, Janthur) in Herwarth Walden's gallery "DER STURM
1915Acquaintance with artists and literary figures: Conrad Felixmüller, George Grosz, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Johannes R. Becher; renewed military muster; first drawings on religious themes
1916drafted into the Landsturm, assignment as interpreter for French in a prisoner-of-war camp near Cottbus
1918First solo exhibition at Paul Cassirer in Berlin and subsequently at the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover; founding member of the "Novembergruppe
1919End of the Expressionist work phase. The expressive gesture now gives way to a curved-moving style.
1924-26Teaches at the study studios for painting and sculpture in Berlin Charlottenburg
1934Exhibition on Meidner's 50th birthday at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
1935Meidner is branded as a "degenerate artist"; drawing teacher at the Jewish school Jawneh in Cologne
1937Represented with several works at the infamous exhibition "Degenerate Art" in Munich
1939Emigration with the family to London
1955Final return to Germany from exile
1965Relocation to Darmstadt; numerous high honors
1966died in Darmstadt
Ludwig Meidner is today one of the most important representatives of Expressionism. His "Apocalyptic Landscapes", created from 1912 onwards, were later interpreted as premonitions of the First World War. In search of his religious identity, he created self-portrait-like depictions of Jewish prophets and biblical scenes in the 1920s. Meidner also captured countless intellectuals in psychologically intense portraits. As a result, the focus is on observing one's own physiognomy rather than on expressing one's sense of self. The self-portrait of 1963 was probably painted in Meidner's new apartment in Darmstadt. Here the working conditions were not so favorable, so that Meidner worked mainly at night. This explains the unusual shadows and the light and dark zones created by two different light sources from which Meidner models the head. The portrait is backed by an evenly colored background enlivened only by the brushstroke. The diagonals, which are taken up in the monogram, in the background, and as the border between shadow and light zones, enliven the composition. 
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