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Sold at Auction: Fritz Kothe

Alias:Fritz Köthe


Fritz Köthe (born September 26, 1916 in Berlin , † October 22, 2005 in Berlin) was a German painter and graphic artist . He is considered one of the most important German representatives of Pop Art and Photo Realism .

Life and work: Köthe left school in 1931 and began training as a painter . After completing the journeyman's examination, he was admitted to the higher graphic technical school in Berlin . From 1936 he studied at the University of Graphic Arts in Leipzig , where he received poor grades because of his preoccupation with “ degenerate art ”. In 1939 he returned to Berlin and lived there from his earnings in commercial graphics, especially caricatures, the publication of which in the magazine Koralle resulted in a reference. At that time he was painting the works of Otto Nagel and Käthe Kollwitz. The result is "dark and gloomy leaves and pictures with crouched, depressed people", [1] of which he submitted one to a propaganda exhibition at the beginning of the war. “Only because of his youth”, the Reich Commissioner for Artistic Design Hans Herbert Schweitzer lets him know that no measures were taken. Until the end of the war he hired himself as a painter at major exhibitions, where he met August Wilhelm Dressler . Through his mediation, Köthe also got a studio space in the studio community Klosterstraße (room no. 9) from autumn 1940 [2]. Dressler developed into a mentor for Köthes, in 1945 they moved into neighboring studios in the American zone of occupation in Berlin and took part in their first exhibitions together. Köthe had some success in the eastern part of the city, but withdrew to the western part because of the pressure to adhere to official socialist realism . There his realistic works remained unsuccessful because of the international heyday of abstract art . He had to give up his studio and apply for social assistance. He then worked as a graphic designer for various publishers and advertising agencies , where he earned the reputation of an authority. With his painted collages with motifsFrom 1960 he developed his own visual language from advertising and worked as a freelance artist until his death .
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