* 20 July 1883 in Schmiedefeld (Thuringia); † 29 February 1964 in Berlin
German painter and graphic artist
In his artistic work Otto Möller deals with the stylistic devices of Impressionism and Expressionism, of Constructivism and Neorealism. To become an art teacher, he studies in Berlin from 1905 to 1907 with the plein-air painter Philipp Franck. After a short term at Lovis Corinth’s studio, he starts his teaching job in Berlin. In his artistic work he takes Franck and Corinth as his examples. After his return from the First World War, the painter joins the 1918 founded November Group and belongs to the pedagogical wing. In 1920, Möller is called to the central institute of teaching and education, where he takes part in the restructuring of art education. From 1919 on, the painter takes part in nearly all exhibitions of the November Group. From 1926 to 1945 he teaches at the Prinz-Heinrich-Gymnasium in Berlin. Under the Nazi regime, however, because of his left-wing political orientation, he experiences professional restrictions. To avoid reliance on the Reichskunstkammer, the Nazi art authority, Möller discontinues his participation in exhibitions. At least one of his works is destroyed in the propaganda action ‘Degenerate Art. From October 1946 until his retirement, in 1955, he holds a professorship at the college of fine art in Berlin, on Karl Hofer’s recommendation. The metropolis remains a major theme of his art. In his colourful and intensive paintings ‘Gehende’ (1951) and ‘Auf der Straße’(1952), he interprets activity and rest in the urban room. The faceless urbanites in the two paintings illustrate that the individual human being as part of a crowd stands back in his individuality, only his mere presence counts.
The artist’s works are to be found, inter alia, in the Berlinische Galerie, the Lindenau-Museum Altenburg, in Schloss Moyland in North Rhine Westphalia, in the Altonaer Museum Hamburg, and in Los Angeles Museum of Art.