* 22 December 1877 in Oberalbendorf n. Trautenau (Bohemia); † 30 June 1966 in Berlin
German painter and graphic artist
Moriz Melzer is regarded as a maverick of Modern Art. His artistic oeuvre is distinguished by stylistic variety and experimental elements.
From 1896 to 1903, Melzer works as a porcelain painter. After his studies from 1903 to 1908 at the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstschule in Weimar, with – among others – Ludwig von Hoffmann, he moves to Berlin. In the winter of 1908, he has his first exhibition at the Berlin Secession. In the following years, Melzer uses linoleum sheets to develop a special printing technique for large-format, coloured monotypes. In April 2010, together with Georg Tappert, Max Pechstein, Arthur Segal, César Klein and others, he founds the association “New Secession 1910”, whose commitment considerably contributes to a breakthrough of Expressionism in Berlin. In the first exhibition of the New Secession, he is ranked in the reviews as “one of the strongest talents”. From 1911 on, he publishes original prints in the periodicals “Der Sturm” and “Die Aktion”. In 1912 he exhibits in the Internationalen Sonderbundausstellung in Cologne and in the Juryfreien Kunstschau in Berlin, where Picasso and Braque are also represented. During a study trip to Paris, he successfully presents his works in the Salon d’Automne and the exhibition Société des Artistes Indépendants. In 1913 he is awarded the Villa-Romana-prize. From 1914 to 1917, he fights in World War I. Together with Pechstein and Tappert, he belongs to the founders of the November Group, whose chairman he becomes in 1922. The exhibition “Degenerate Art” attacks Melzer in 1937 as a member of the November Group, and disparages his art. His works are removed from German museums.