Saturday, May 29, 2010

Georg Scholz

Georg Scholz, Self-Portrait, 1926

Scholz was born in Wolfenbüttel in 1890 and had his artistic training at the Karlsruhe Academy, together with Karl Hubbuch. His teachers included Hans Thoma and Wilhelm Trübner. Like Magnus Zeller  he later studied in Berlin under Lovis Corinth. After military service in World War I lasting from 1915 to 1918, he resumed painting, working in a style fusing cubist and futurist ideas.

 Georg Scholz, Badische Kleinstadt bei Tage, 1922

In 1919 Scholz became a member of the Communist Party of Germany, and his work of the next few years is harshly critical of the social and economic order in postwar Germany. His Industrial Farmers of 1920 is an oil painting with collage that depicts a Bible-clutching farmer with money erupting from his forehead, seated next to his monstrous wife who cradles a piglet. Their subhuman son, his head open at the top to show that it is empty, is torturing a frog. Perhaps Scholz' best-known work, it is typical of the paintings he produced in the early 1920s, combining a very controlled, crisp execution with corrosive sarcasm. 

Georg Scholz, Industrial Farm Family, 1920

Scholz quickly became one of the leaders of the New Objectivity group of artists. By 1925, however, his approach had softened into something closer to neoclassicism, as seen in the Self-Portrait in front of an Advertising Column of 1926 (above) and the Seated Nude with Plaster Bust of 1927. 

 Georg Scholz, Seated Nude with Plaster Bust, 1927

Appointed a professor at the Baden State Academy of Art in Karlsruhe in 1925, the students he taught included Rudolf Dischinger. Scholz began contributing in 1926 to the satirical magazine Simplicissimus, and in 1928 he visited Paris where he especially appreciated the work of Pierre Bonnard

 Georg Scholz, Things to Come, 1922

With the rise to power of Hitler and the National Socialists in 1933, Scholz was quickly dismissed from his teaching position. Declared a Degenerate Artist, his works were among those seized in 1937 as part of a campaign by the Nazis to "purify" German culture, and he was forbidden to paint in 1939.

In 1945, the French occupation forces appointed Scholz mayor of Waldkirch, but he died that same year, in Waldkirch.

You can see more of Scholz's works in my Weimar Set on Flickr.

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