The Artist Birthday Series

Otto Freundlich

The gallerist Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor organizes an exhibition of Freundlich’s works and numerous artists signed an appeal of support, including: J. Adler, H. Arp, Georges Braque, J. Cassou, A. Derain , R. and S. Delaunay, A. Gleizes, W. Gropius, F. Léger, Max Jacob, W. Kandinsky, J. Lipchitz, P. Picasso, S. Tauber-Arp, Max Ernst. Despite such support, while in France, he was detained as a German national and moved from one internment camp to another.

Composition -1939
Composition -1939

After his release in February 1940, friends suggested he emigrate to Switzerland but he preferred to remain in France. Upon his return to Paris, he was again detained in mid-May. Released on June 20, he took refuge with Jeanne Kosnick-Kloss in Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet in the Pyrénées-Orientales. Many artists in the Parisian art world were leaving Europe, but attempts to allow Freundlich to leave France for the United States fail.

of-composition-1939-musee-de-pontoise

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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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