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Ernst Barlach (1869 - 1937)

Ernst Barlach - born on January 2nd, 1870 in Wedel, Holstein, died on October 24th, 1938 in Rostock - occupies an exceptional position within German Expressionism. As a graphic artist, draftsman, writer and especially as a sculptor, Barlach created milestones in the history of art: Barlach's sculptural works seek the borderline experience and its representation and this is precisely where their special effect lies. They are works of complex meaning, with which he put the essence of the human being in the foreground and that which stands above the self and the things in the world.

Barlach's intention is deeply rooted, within. Marked by the war and difficult living conditions, he experiences suffering and happiness from here. And people are always at the center of his work: Ecce homo.

"However, I desire nothing more than to be an artist badly and rightly. It is my belief that what cannot be expressed through the work can pass into the possession of another through forms. My desire and my creative urge revolves again and again the problems of the meaning of life and the other great mountains in the spiritual realm. " (Ernst Barlach)

In 1925 Ernst Barlach becomes an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. In 1933 he was made a knight of the peace class of the order "Pour le mérite". In 1937 the National Socialists remove his works as "degenerate art" from public collections and places. Ernst Barlach died in Rostock on October 24, 1938.

Today the works of Ernst Barlach are an integral part of the leading museums and collections and - where available - achieve record sums at auctions.

"The singing man" became Ernst Barlach's most famous sculpture, an icon of modernism. It adorns illustrated books and posters around the world, and the first edition is an integral part of the collections of the world's major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.


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