* 14 September 1876 in Hamburg; † 13 March 1954 in Pansdorf (Ostholstein)
German painter, graphic artist, and stage designer
About 1912, Cesar Klein ranks among the best-known expressionist artists. In the subsequent dispute over Cubism, Neorealism, and Picasso’s artistic work he finds his unmistakable style.
After an apprenticeship as a painter and studies in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, Klein continues his education in Berlin in 1900. He is successful as book illustrator, later also in the field of arts and crafts, interior design, painting on glass, and mosaic work. In 1907, the artist takes part in the 13th exhibition of the Berliner Secession, together with Max Liebermann, Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, Edward Munch and others. In 1910, he is one of the first members of the New Secession in Berlin, a movement considerably involved in the breakthrough of Expressionism in Germany. Klein is also presented at the international art exhibition of the Sonderbund in Cologne in 1912, a first comprehensive presentation of European Modern Art. Together with Max Pechstein, Georg Tappert and other artists, he founds the revolutionary November Group in 1918 and takes part in the activities of the working council of arts. In the following year he becomes a teacher at the teaching institute of the Berlin Museum of Arts and Crafts. In the 1920s, Klein has numerous exhibitions. He works successfully as a stage designer and designs expressionist movies. With the National Socialists’ seizure of power, the artist’s successful creative phase comes to an end: Klein is no longer allowed to teach, his art is defamed as ‘degenerate’ and removed from German museums and collections. From 1935 to 1945, Klein leads a secluded life in his country house in Pansdorf, earning a living as stage designer. After the Second World War, he mainly works as a freelance painter. His artistic works are exhibited in Hamburg, London, Lübeck and Kiel. There are also many posthumous solo exhibitions of his œuvre in Germany.