* 22 December 1877 in Oberalbendorf n. Trautenau (Bohemia); † 30 June 1966 in Berlin
German painter and graphic artist
Moriz Melzer is considered to be a pioneer of Classic Modern Art. His work is distinguished by stylistic diversity: from Neoimpressionism and Naturalism via Expressionism up to Cubo-Futuristic Abstraction.
After his art studies in Weimar, Melzer in 1908 goes to Berlin, where he in the winter of the same year exhibits for the first time.at the Berlin Secession. In the following years he develops linoplates for his own printing process of large-format, coloured monotypes. In 1910, together with Georg Tappert, Max Pechstein, Arthur Segal, Cesar Klein and others, he is one of the initiators of the Neue Secession, a movement that essentially contributes to the breakthrough of Expressionism. In the first exhibition of the Neue Secession, he is seen by critics as ‘one of the greatest talents’. From 1911 on, Melzer publishes original prints, i.a. in the periodicals ‘Der Sturm’ and ‘Die Aktion’. In 1912, he takes part in the Internationalen Sonderbundausstellung in Cologne and the Juryfreien Kunstschau in Berlin, presenting his works next to Picasso and Braque. In 1913 he is awarded the Villa-Romana prize. He has his first solo exhibition in the winter of 1913, in the Munich Galerie Hans Goltz. A solo exhibition and a subsequent exhibition tour through Germany, mounted by the Berlin Galerie J.B. Neumann, will enhance the extent of the artist’s renown overnight. In the winter of the same year, he is among the founders of the revolutionary November Group, whose members want to reform society by reforming art. From 1920 to 1931, as a member of this association, he almost every year participates in the Großen Berliner Kunstausstellung and the Juryfreien Kunstschau. In 1922 he is the chairman of the November Group. The Nazi propaganda exhibition ‘Degenerate Art’ from 1937 attacks Melzer as a member of the November Group and defames his art. Works by the artist are removed from German museums. On the occasion of his 80th birthday in 1957, an exhibition of his works is shown in the city hall of Berlin-Schöneberg. At his 100th birthday, a comprehensive memorial exhibition follows in the city hall of Berlin-Wedding.