Munich: revisit Pinakothek der Modern, exhibition ‘Alfred Flechtheim, art dealer of the avant-garde’
by Venetia Kapernekas
Alfred Flechtheim at the Léger exhibition, Berlin 1922Photo: Atelier Lily Baruch © The Royal Library Copenhagen
The gallery owner Alfred Flechtheim (1878-1937) was a major protagonist in the art scene at the beginning of the 20th century. His commitment to the ‘Rheinische Expressionisten’ group of artists, the French avant-garde and German Modernism, and his support of great artists such as Max Beckmann, George Grosz and Paul Klee, made him internationally famous even during his lifetime. The National Socialist regime, however, changed his life and that of his family drastically. Flechtheim had to leave Germany in October 1933. As an art dealer of Jewish extraction he was publicly slandered and, by 1935, had closed his galleries in Düsseldorf and Berlin and transferred the artworks he still possessed abroad, mostly to London, where he died in 1937 at the age of 59 as the result of an accident. His wife, Bertha, committed suicide in 1941 in the face of her imminent deportation. The remaining works of art in the flat in Berlin were confiscated.
The exceptional influence Alfred Flechtheim exerted as an art dealer representing artists defamed by the Nazis, the abrupt break in his biography and the feeling of loss this brought about, as well as the tragic fate of his family, are all reasons for this project being dedicated to his life and work. In addition, the database generated website http://www.alfredflechteim.com provides details about the works and their respective provenance, as well as background information on 234 items now found in a total of 15 different museum collections taking part in this project.
….works by Max Beckmann, Juan Gris, Paul Klee, Karl Hofer, Ernst Barlach, at Pinakothek der Moderne may be seen with info point and iPad-terminals.
more at Pinakothek der Moderne