The Artist Birthday Series

Otto Freundlich

In 1911, during his participation in the Neue Sezession group (in Berlin), Freundlich met artist and founder of the famed group Die Brücke Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and also befriends the historian Wilhelm Niemeyer with whom he would correspond until 1930. He formed contacts with the Hamburg art historian Rosa Schapire, and collector Josef Feinhals of Cologne who, like Niemeyer, were among his first collectors. It was during this period when he began experimenting with his first non-figurative works. The painter and writer Hans Richter wrote: “He was the first German abstract painter and sculptor.”


Back in Fleury-en-Bière, Freundlich connects with the Dutch artists Otto and Adya van Rees, who would make tapestries from compositions by Freundlich.


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2 thoughts on “Otto Freundlich

  1. here here!
    why was this man omitted from MOMA’s big 2013 Abstraction Show?
    an egregious error if their remit is the emergence of “Western” abstract art.
    and such a poignant story to boot, the refugee pacifist German betrayed by the French, France where he had worked so much, not least his iconic, front rank 1911 abstract image, yes 1911, still hanging Paris.

    1. Thanks for the comment William. It has been a very interesting journey compiling these bios, and some stories, such as Freundlich’s, need to be told before they are lost to history all together. My main goal with this project was to find artists that I found inspiring for various reasons, and celebrate them here. I tried to focus on the more obscure or “forgotten” artists, though some well known artists have inspired me immensely and so they are celebrated as well. But it is comments such as yours that make this project so worthwhile for me…thank you so much!

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