* 18 February 1889 in Berlin; † 13 November 1981 in Burgbrohl (Eifel)
German sculptor and graphic artist
Gerhard Marcks is considered one of Germany’s major sculptors of the 20th century. He begins as an autodidact, looking to August Gaul, the animal sculptor, as his role-model. From 1908 to 1912 he works in a studio together with the sculptor Richard Scheibe in Berlin. In 1914 he creates two stone reliefs for the German Werkbund exhibition in Cologne after a design by Walter Gropius. He serves in the military till 1915 and falls seriously ill. In 1918 he is appointed to a teaching position for the sculptor class at the State Applied Arts School in Berlin. He later transfers to the Bauhaus in Weimar. In 1918 he is appointed to a teaching post at the State Applied Arts School in Berlin; he later switches to the Bauhaus in Weimar. He heads the pottery workshop in Dornburg near Jena until 1925 as a Bauhaus master. He is inspired by Lyonel Feininger, head of the printer workshop at the Bauhaus, to try woodcuts. Marcks composes countless printing blocks in a clear, pure and reduced vocabulary. It is especially nature and the animal world that inspires him.
After the school moves to Dessau 1925, Marcks teaches at the Applied Arts School at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle/Saale. Chosen in 1928 as director, he heads the school until 1933 when he is dismissed by the Nazis. In 1937 Marcks is officially banned from exhibiting his work and retreats to his summerhouse in Niehagen on the Baltic. His studio in Berin-Nikolassee is destroyed by bombing in 1943.
At the end of the war he is appointed to a professorship at the State Art School in Hamburg. From 1950 he works as a freelance artist in Cologne. Since 1969 his artistic bequest has found a home as a foundation in Bremen and is on exhibit in the house named after him.