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Ludwig Gies

(1887—1966)


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German sculptor, born in Munich. He is best remembered for an Expressionist wood carving of the crucified Christ, now lost, which, after some controversy, was placed in the Marienkirche, Lübeck. Carl Georg Heisse (1890–1979), the director of the local Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte and an embattled supporter of Expressionism, described it as ‘equal to the architectural power of the Middle Ages’. The poet Julius Havermann, however, said that ‘When I look at this Crucifixion I am wounded at the deepest level of my religious experience’. It became one of the most conspicuous exhibits in the ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition of 1937. Shortly afterwards, Gies was dismissed from his teaching post. In the post-war era he designed an eagle for the West German parliament in aluminium with lights, supposedly representative of the new democratic spirit of the Federal Republic, but which came to be known as the ‘fat hen’, signifying a wealthy complacency. He died in Cologne.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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