The Artist Birthday Series

Otto Freundlich

In the early 1920s, architect and founder of the Bauhaus school, Walter Gropius, tried unsuccessfully to get him a professorship at the Bauhaus. With the artists Otto Dix, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch and others, he contributed to the critical development of the Novembergruppe. He spends the majority of the next two years in Berlin, where made a sculpture for the tomb of his Berlin collector and philanthropist Julius Wissinger, and continued his writings and exhibitions.

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At the same time, Freundlich begins to associated with the Berlin based, anarchist artists group Kommune whose members included Raoul Hausmann, Hausmann Hedwig, Tristan Remy, Ludwig Hilbersheimer, Margaret and Stanislas Kubicki to name a few. In June 1923, he married a second time, and in August, he briefly returned to Paris to participate in the Salon des Independants.


In May 1928, he began his monumental sculpture, Ascension, which he finished in the summer of 1929 and showed at the Abstrakte Kunst und Surrealismus exhibition at the Kunsthaus in Zurich.

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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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