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Georg Schrimpf

Georg Schrimpf

*  1889 München
† 1938 Berlin

"After school I would have liked to visit an institution which could have taught me how to draw. But I lacked the courage and independence to persevere, and so I was sent to a pastry maker as an apprentice". This was how Georg Schrimpf described his futile artistic ambitions as a young man in an autobiography. The apprenticeship in Passau lasted three years, after which the 16-year-old Schrimpf began looking for employment. He spent the next year mainly in Northern Germany, working as a baker, a waiter or shovelling coals. Travelling and constant changes of residence were to become an important aspect in the artist's life. Schrimpf went to Munich in 1909. He joined an anarchic movement which took him to Switzerland and Italy where he retreated for a lengthy period near Lago Maggiore in 1913. He spent this period copying nudes by Michelangelo and Raphael. Later Schrimpf returned to Munich to work as a baker and a cook. He used his spare time for his real vocation, however: drawing and painting in watercolour. When Schrimpf came to Berlin in 1915 he continued accepting a variety of jobs, but he was now inspired by modern art which he saw here for the first time and began painting in oil. The gallery "Sturm" exhibited the self-taught artist's works for the first time in the same year. The Galerie Goltz arranged the artist's first one-man exhibition in 1920 in Munich where the artist was now living again. Five years later he had 12 important works in a Neue Sachlichkeit exhibition in Mannheim. After a short period teaching at the Landeserziehungsheim Haubinda in Thuringia Schrimpf taught at the Munich Gewerbeschule until 1926. He was appointed professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Kunsterziehung in Berlin in 1933, a post he held until his dismissal in 1937. Schrimpf began his artistic career under the influence of Expressionism, but turned towards the Neue Sachlichkeit during the 1920s. His adoption of Neo Classicism was not only a development towards the idyll of Biedermeier landscapes. These calm compositions, characterised by a link between the object and the construction, also enabled him to recreate a calm, harmonious world removed from any current problems.