Monday, October 18, 2010

Alexander Kanoldt

 Alexander Kanoldt, Self-Portrait, 1930

Alexander Kanoldt (1881-1939) was born in Karlsruhe as the son of the classicistic landscape painter Edmund Friedrich Kanoldt. He began an apprenticeship as a decorative painter at the local "Kunstgewerbeschule" (Arts and Craft School) at the age of eighteen, but decided to join the Academy in 1901. He took drawing lessons with Ernst Schurth, and began a life-long friendship with the painter Adolf Erbslöh.

Alexander Kanoldt, Telegraph Wires, 1921

During this time Kanoldt closely studied Neo-Impressionist techniques, which inspired his technically sophisticated colour lithographs. In 1904, Kanoldt continued his studies in Friedrich Fehr's painting class and became his master student between 1906 and 1909. Kanoldt moved to Munich in 1908, where he founded the Neue Künstlervereinigung - a forerunner of the "Blauer Reiter" - together with Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Marianne von Werefkin and others.

Alexander Kanoldt, Thr Red Belt, 1929

Kanoldt also took part in the first exhibition of the Neue Künstlervereinigung at Heinrich Thannhauser's Moderne Galerie in Munich in 1909. In 1913, Kanoldt became a member of the "Münchener Neue Sezession". His artistic career was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War - from 1914 to 1918, Kanoldt was drafted as an officer. After the war, he developed a close relationship with Georg Schrimpf. Both representeded the more romantic trends of the New Objectivity.

Alexander Kanoldt, Still-Life, 1920s

During a lengthy stay in Italy in 1924, Kanoldt produced multi-perspective architectural landscapes and serene interiors. These works marked a new beginning in Kanoldt's work and resulted in an invitation to exhibit works in the famous "Neue Sachlichkeit" (New Objectivity) exhibition in 1924 at the "Kunsthalle Mannheim". His was the second largest group of works after Max Beckmann.

Alexander Kanoldt, Olevano, 1927

In 1925, Oskar Moll invited him to teach at the "Breslau Kunstakademie", a post that he gave up in 1931. Together with Karl Hofer, Kanoldt was the founder of the "Badische Secession" in Freiburg in 1927. In 1931, he opened a private painting school in Garmisch-Patenkirchen. During this period Kanoldt mostly painted still-lives and Italian landscapes. Even though he was appointed professor at the Kunstakademie in Berlin in 1933, his works were labelled "degenerate" during the Nazi regime and confiscated in 1937. For health reasons he had been forced to give up his post in Berlin one year before. Alexander Kanoldt died of a heart disease on 24 January, 1939.

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