Rudolph Schlichter


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German painter, illustrator, and writer. He was born at Calw and studied in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. During the First World War he was called up for armed service, but he was dismissed after going on hunger strike. After the war he settled in Berlin, where he lived until 1932. He took part in Dada activities and earned his living mainly as a book illustrator, but he is remembered chiefly for his paintings in a Neue Sachlichkeit vein. His subjects—taken mainly from the city's streetlife and bohemian subculture—included portraits and scenes of sexual violence and deviation (particularly shoe fetishism). His brushwork was loose and vigorous rather than in the detailed manner usually associated with Neue Sachlichkeit. In 1932 he moved to Rottenburg. He was critical of the Nazis and in 1937 some of his paintings were included in the infamous exhibition of degenerate art. In 1938 he was imprisoned for three months. He settled in Munich in 1939 and after the Second World War his work was influenced by Surrealism. ‘Characteristic of his sharp writing style are his books, Das widerspenstige Fleisch (The Recalcitrant Flesh, 1932), and Das Abenteuer der Kunst (An Adventure in Art, 1949). The first includes astonishingly frank sex confessions, the second polemicized all abstract art…in which he saw cultural ruination, or at best a merely ornamental value’ (Roh).

Subjects: Art.

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