Gert Wollheim, The maniac, 1924
Oil on canvas 90.5cm x 94.5cm
Gert Wollheim (1894-1974) lived and worked with Otto Pankok, first in Remels/East Friesland (1919) and then in Düsseldorf. Wollheim went to Berlin in 1925 and became a sought-after painter in Berlin society. In 1933 he had to leave Germany because of his Jewish origins. He fled to Paris and, when war broke out, on to southern France. Here he hid and thus escaped death.
Before he moved to New York in 1947, where he was able to build on his success as a painter, around 800 works were lost in Paris, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
Wollheim was once called “phantast and rebel”, and his work stands somewhere between realism, expressionism and surrealism. The artist, ostracized by the Nazis, is one of the great loners in German art history of the 20th century.