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    25.10.2024 –

    75 years of the Association of German Artists

    In December 1950, the Association of German Artists was founded in Berlin as a revival of the association that had been forcibly dissolved by the National Socialists in 1936. The artists Karl Hofer, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Karl Hartung were appointed as chairmen, while Willi Baumeister, Carl Caspar, Werner Gilles, Erich Heckel, Bernhard Heiliger, Max Kaus, Karl Kluth, Gerhard Marcks, Ewald Mataré, Toni Stadler and the art critic Edwin Redslob became regular members of the board. The then Federal President Theodor Heuss was appointed Honorary President. The main task was seen as “directly and exclusively promoting the interests of the visual arts in general and its artists in particular”. In addition, the aim was “a.) to promote and support talented visual artists in need; b.) to grant scholarships to young artists in need; c.) to arrange sales between art lovers and artists free of charge; d.) to organize art exhibitions with works by members and invited guests”. The Association of German Artists received particular attention through its annual exhibitions, which it organized in various German cities. Here, established artists as well as young talents were given the opportunity to show works from the previous three years in public and offer them for sale. Special prizes from the respective state governments or industry associations offered additional incentives to participate. In addition to promoting artists, the Association of German Artists was also actively involved in (cultural) political debates – essentially against the strengthening of National Socialist art propaganda, but also in public statements against art and cultural policy in the GDR.
    The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Dahlem traces the lines of development and key political discussions in the Deutscher Künstlerbund since its re-founding in 1950 using selected works from the first 10 annual exhibitions. The exhibition focuses exclusively on sculpture – with works by Karl Albiker, Rosemarie Dyckerhoff, Karl Hartung, Bernhard Heiliger, Gerhard Marcks, Brigitte Meier-Denninghoff, Emy Roeder and Edwin Scharff, among others.
    The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual booklet on the history of the Association of German Artists (German/English).