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Ernst Barlach - born on 2.1.1870 in Wedel, Holstein, died on 24.10.1938 in Rostock - occupies an outstanding special position within German Expressionism.
As a graphic artist, draftsman, writer, and especially as a sculptor, Barlach created milestones in the history of art: Barlach's sculptural works of art seek the borderline experience and its representation, and precisely therein lies their special effect. They are works of multi-layered meaning, with which he foregrounded the essence of man and that which stands above the ego and the things of the world.
Barlach's intention is rooted in the depths, in the interior. Influenced by war and difficult living conditions, he experiences suffering and happiness from here. And man is always at the center of his work: Ecce homo.
"However, I desire nothing other than to be badly and rightly an artist. It is my belief that that which cannot be expressed through the work can pass into the possession of another through forms. Again and again my desire and urge to create revolves around the problems of the meaning of life and the other great mountains in the spiritual realm." (Ernst Barlach)
Ernst Barlach becomes an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich in 1925. In 1933 he is appointed Knight of the Peace Class of the Order "Pour le mérite". In 1937 the National Socialists remove his works from public collections and squares as "degenerate art". On October 24, 1938, Ernst Barlach dies in Rostock.
Today, Ernst Barlach's works are an integral part of leading museums and collections and, where available, fetch record amounts at auction.
"The Singing Man" became Ernst Barlach's most famous sculpture, an icon of modernism. It adorns illustrated books and posters worldwide, and the original edition is a permanent fixture in the collections of the world's major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.