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Erich Buchholz

Biographies
Erich Buchholz

*  1891 Bromberg
† 1972 Berlin


"Without any reflection of reality, his development towards abstraction is a search for independence from his stories. […] Unthinkable without Kandinsky, but still with his own characteristics."
This was Max Ossborn's comment in the "Vossische Zeitung" in 1921 about the young artist, stage designer and architect Erich Buchholz. Buchholz began his career as a teacher at a "Volksschule" and moved to Berlin in 1915 where he took painting lessons with Lovis Corinth. An encounter with the actor Karl Vogt determined his future direction: He developed an interest in the theatre and in 1917 began working together with Vogt as a dramatic advisor at the theatre in Bamberg. In the following year the artist made his first abstract designs as well as stage designs for the Albert-Theatre in Dresden. His stage design for the premiere of Strindberg's "Schwanenweiß" caused quite a stir at the time. Buchholz joined the "Novembergruppe", which had been founded in 1918 by Pechstein and Tappert and considered itself a group of like-minded "radical" artists of Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism with the aim of influencing art related public affairs. In 1921 Buchholz developed an increasing interest in architecture, particularly in exhibition architecture, room constructions and furniture. In the same year he had an exhibition at the gallery "Der Sturm" in Berlin. Here he also met El Lissitzky and the Berlin Dadaist circle around Hülsenbeck and Hausmann as well as members of the Bauhaus such as Mies van der Rohe and Moholy-Nagy. At the exhibition "Konstruktivismus und Suprematismus" at the Gallery van Diemen in Berlin in 1922 El Lissitzky commented about Buchholz' work: "[…] we thought we were creating something completely new and now notice that the same has been done here". Buchholz left Berlin in 1922 to live in the country. He exhibited annually at the Große Kunstausstellung until 1931. His art career was interrupted in 1933 by the National Socialists who forced Buchholz to stop painting and exhibiting his works. Buchholz resumed painting again after the war. In 1956 he participated in the "Salon Réalités Nouvelles" in Paris. His work was shown in numerous exhibitions, for example a retrospective exhibition in 1956 at the Rose Fried Gallery in New York. But also large museums such as the Nationalgalerie in Berlin (1977), the Guggenheim-Museum (1980) and most recently the Kunsthalle in Tübingen (1996) commemorated the artist who died in 1972.