Conrad Felixmüller
(1897–1977)

Conrad Felixmüller, Bildnis Franz Pfemfert (Portrait of Franz Pfemfert), 1923, oil on canvas, Collection Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, installation view, Neue Galerie, Kassel, documenta 14, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Conrad Felixmüller was born in Dresden in 1897, where he studied with the Hessian realist painter Carl Bantzer. He was a founding member of the avant-garde artist collective Novembergruppe, and a member of the German communist party KPD from 1919 until 1924. Around this time, Felixmüller made the acquaintance of Franz Pfemfert, “a cantankerous critic of capitalism and Wilhelmine society” and founder of the seminal literary-political journal Die Aktion (1911–32). Pfemfert died an impoverished commercial photographer in Mexico City in 1954. Felixmüller met Cornelia Gurlitt in 1917 through her brother Hildebrand, scions of a cultured Dresdner family; he drew the portrait of “Nurse Cornelia Gurlitt” on view here in 1917, while she was on furlough from her nursing duties on the Eastern Front.

Posted in Public Exhibition