Kurt Günther

Germany / 1893 - 1955
Kurt Günther, German painter born in Gera in 1893.

After finishing high school in 1913, he went to study in the School of Applied Arts of Dresden, counting on Otto Dix (also like Günther from Gera) and Otto Griebel like companions of studies.

With the outbreak of World War II in 1914 he was called to military service. He served in the Air Force, until he was relieved in 1917 because of serious tuberculosis.
His economic situation allowed him to seek treatment for the disease in Davos (Switzerland), where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

He returned to Dresden in 1919 and continued his studies at the Art Academy, where he was part of Richard Mueller's painting class.

Günther experimented artistically with Expressionism, Dadaism and Realism. He married in 1922 and moved to Bad Reichenhall. When he separated he returned to Gera. In the artistic and intellectual circles of the city Günther quickly found acceptance and recognition. Between 1929 and 1931 he was in Paris, and studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

Upon his return to Gera, he provoked a scandal due to a painting depicting a blond girl in the arms of a black jazz trumpeter, which was publicly displayed in a shop window, and was removed by the authorities.

After the Nazis took power in 1933, Günther underwent house searches and was barred from exhibiting. In 1937, eleven of his works were removed from German museums as degenerate art.
His last years were increasingly marked by illness and depression. In his later works, landscapes acquired an increasingly dominant role.

He died in 1955.
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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