Phenomenal German ‘Expressionist’ Painter – Anton Kerschbaumer

Anton Kerschbaumer, the famous German ‘Expressionist’ painter, was born on November 20, 1885, in Rosenheim, Germany. He championed one of the most complex and diverse art movements ever included in the history of ‘Modern Art.’ Kerschbaumer believed that he could use his art as a bridge towards a better future. From the year 1901 to 1908, Anton studied under Maximilian Dasio and Julius Exter, at the School of Decorative Arts in Munich. Initially in his career, Anton also taught as an art teacher there. After 1908, he moved to Berlin to study under Lovis Corinth, who had also taught Paul Kleinschmidt. In his early years, The ‘Impressionist’ works of Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse, impressed the artist. Later however, he deflected from ‘Impressionism.’

In 1905, Anton Kerschbaumer joined a very famous ‘Expressionist’ group, “Die Brücke,” formed by a small section of artists who met as the students of architecture in Dresden. Other prominent members of this group included Erich Heckel, Fritz Bleyl, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Carl Schmidt-Rottluf. The group disbanded after eight years, in 1913, but its implications for the ‘Modern German Art’ were immense. In 1914, Anton Kerschbaumer had his first exhibition with the help of an art dealer, Israel Beer Neumann.

Due to the outset of the First World War, Kerschbaumer had to stop painting for some time and in 1916, he worked as an ambulance driver in Flanders. During this period, he met several artists, such as Erich Heckel, Max Kaus, and Otto Herbig, who were too serving in the German army. Erich Heckel, his military supervisor in Ostend, inspired Kerschbaumer’s early works and also influenced him to create ‘Lithographic Art.’ In 1919, Kerschbaumer came back to Berlin and took part in his first big exhibition with the publisher, Paul Cassirer.

In 1921, the artist married Friederike and spent most of his summers with her in Ammersee. In 1923, he founded the Bloch-Kerschbaumer School in Berlin with Martin Bloch. He later, however, gave up his place to Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Also later that year, Kerschbaumer took part in an exhibition of contemporary artists in the Berlin gallery, Nierendorf. In the year 1930, he joined the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome for three months on a scholarship. Here, he met the famous ‘Expressionist,’ Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Otto Herbig, with whom he spent the summer in Malcesine. In the winter of the same year, Anton Kerschbaumer became seriously ill and died on August 2, 1931 in Berlin-Tegel.