Gerhard Marcks


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German sculptor and printmaker, born in Berlin. He had a varied but patchy artistic training, beginning as a painter. In 1919 he was one of the first teachers to be appointed at the Bauhaus, and was put in charge of the ceramic workshop. Encouraged by his fellow teacher Feininger, he also took up woodcut and this led to a greater use of wood as a material in his sculpture. He became disillusioned with the increasingly technological outlook of the Bauhaus, so he left when it moved to Dessau in 1925 and took up a teaching position at the Kunstgewerbeschule at Burg Giebichenstein near Halle, becoming director in 1928. In 1933 his work was declared degenerate by the Nazis and he retired to the Baltic coast. After the Second World War he was professor at the State School of Art in Hamburg, 1946–50, then moved to Cologne, where he spent the rest of his life. His major work was the completion of a series of statues on the façade of the church of St Catherine in Lübeck (1947) that had been left unfinished by Barlach, but his refined and somewhat sentimental style is generally closer to that of Lehmbruck.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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