DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Germany 1891 – 1972
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ZR7 1953
painted plaster relief
51.0 (h) x 32.0 (w) cm
not signed, not dated
Gift of Mo Wedd-Buchholz 1992
NGA 1992.1521
  • collection of the artist;

  • by descent to the artist's daughter, Mrs Mo Wedd-Buchholz;

  • by whom donated to the National Gallery of Australia, December 1992

Erich Buchholz was born in Bromberg, Germany, on 31 January 1891. He began painting in his spare time while working as a primary schoolteacher before deciding, in 1915, to become a full-time artist. He managed just one lesson with Lovis Corinth in Berlin in 1915 before being conscripted into the army. After the First World War he returned to Berlin and began making his first abstract works. In 1921 he held his first solo exhibition, at Galerie Der Sturm, Berlin, and throughout the 1920s participated in the annual jury-free art exhibitions in Berlin. He was one of four artists (the others being Vilmos Huszar, Willi Baumeister and El Lissitzky) who were invited to design interiors for the jury-free exhibition in 1923. Through lack of funds the commission was never realised but an invitation to Buchholz was probably extended on the basis of his well-known studio at 15 Herkulesufer, Berlin, an interior conceived as a total work of art. This studio was frequented by many artists of the avant-garde, including the Dadaists Richard Huelsenbeck, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, the Hungarians Laszlo Peri and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and the pioneers of abstract film, Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling. In 1925 Buchholz moved to the village of Germendorf on the outskirts of Berlin and attempted to support his family through market gardening, poultry and eventually by opening up a sand quarry. In 1933 the National Socialists labelled his work 'degenerate' and prohibited Buchholz from exhibiting. He continued to live in Germendorf until 1950 when he made his way to West Berlin. During the 1950s and 19602 he held a number of solo exhibitions in Europe and the United Sates. In 1969 a retrospective of his work, organised by the Wiesbaden Museum, travelled to Cologne and Stuttgart. Buchholz died in Berlin on 29 December 1972.

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