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  • Artist - Karl Schmidt-Rottluff - Biography
    Karl Schmidt was born in Rottluff near Chemnitz in 1884 and met Erich Heckel at grammar school in Chemnitz in 1902. Their first literary and artistic interests lead both of them to join the debating society "Vulkan". Karl Schmidt began studying architecture at the polytechnical university of Dresden in 1905. Through Heckel he got to know Fritz Bleyl and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. In the same year they founded the artists’s association "Brücke". Karl Schmidt added to his surname the name of the place where he was born to call himself Schmidt-Rottluff from then on. In 1906 he abandoned his courses to devote himself completely to painting. Rosa Schapire, an art historian from Hamburg, became the groups most important patron and the Hamburg lawyer Gustav Schiefler began collecting Schmidt-Rottluff's graphic work.. Between the years of 1907 and 1912 Schmidt-Rottluff regularly spent his summers at Dangast, north of the town of Oldenburg, sometimes accompanied by Heckel. A substantial number of his paintings, watercolours and graphic works were executed in the tranquil seclusion of the lonely costal region. His strong inclination to withdraw to the remote scenery of the North Sea and Baltic characterizes Schmidt-Rottluff's artistic personality and makes him the loner of the "Brücke" group. His move to Berlin in 1911 brought him in contact with current tendencies of the international avantgarde. Cubism, Futurism and African tribal art worked as a stimulus for his own art from 1912 onwards. In the same year he took part in the "Sonderbund Ausstellung" in Cologne. From this point on he was in vibrant artisitc exchange with Lionel Feininger. After the disbanding of the "Brücke" in 1913 Schmidt-Rottluff developed a monumental and stylised artistic vocabulary.
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