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Christian Schad

Christian Schad

*  1894 Miesbach
† 1982 Stuttgart

Christian Schad was born in Miesbach (Upper Bavaria) on August 21, 1894. His father is the highly respected counselor of justice Carl Schad. His mother comes from the family of the painter Carl Philipp Fohr (1795-1818). Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Munich. Christian Schad picks up his studies at Munich Art Academy in 1913. At first he seeks orientation on Expressionism. During World War I he stays in Zurich for some time in order to dodge the draft. There he meets Hans Arp, Hugo Ball and Tristan Zara and joins the "Dada"-movement. He is also a good friend of the poet Walter Serner, who is publisher of the magazine "Sirius". Schad works on woodcuts and releases them in magazines and portfolios. He has his first one-man show in Zurich in 1915. Two years later he moves to Geneva where he develops photograms, also called "Schadographies", with light-sensitive photo plates. In the years between 1920 and 1925 Schad and Serner live together in Rome and Naples. The pictures originating from those years clearly show how he had been inspired by the Italian cultural landscape that surrounded him. In 1923 he marries the Italian Marcella Arcangeli, who gives birth to a son. The family moves to Vienna in 1925. The marriage is divorced just two years later and Schad goes to Berin in 1928.
During his time in Vienna and Berlin Schad's pictures depict life in the big city. He makes portraits of artists, intellectuals and famous people. Along with the painters Otto Dix and George Grosz, Christian Schad is regarded as one of the main representatives of New Objectivity.
Christian Schad's works are shown in numerous both national as well as international exhibitions. The times are getting more and more difficult after the National Socialists had taken over power, so that Schad withdraws himself little by little . In 1935 he becomes business manager of a brewery depot. His studio is bombed out in an air raid in 1942. A year later he goes to Aschaffenburg, where he marries his second wife Bettina Mittelstädt.
The early 1950s mark the beginning of his so-called magic paintings (Magische Bilder), as of around 1960 he returns to his photograms "Schadographies". Christian Schad moves to Keilberg in the Spessart and dies in Stuttgart on February 25, 1982.