Erich Heckel

1883-1970

H

1883

Born July 31 in Dobeln (Saxony)

1904

Had been attending the Gymnasium High School in Chemnitz. Friendship with classmate Karl Schmidt-Rottluff dating from 1901. Then goes to Dresden to study at the Technische Hochschule where he meets Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl.

1905

Leaves the Technische Hochschule with Kirchner and Bleyl. Enters the drawing office of the architect Wilhelm Kreis where he worked as a draftsman until 1907.

Cofounds Der Brucke. Heckel was the mediator and the organizer of affairs. He found their first studio in a butcher’s and a shoemaker’s premises. Organized their first joint exhibition in Seifert’s lamp factory in Dresden. Represented the group as their business manager.

1906

Meets Max Pechstein and Emil Nolde

1907

series of woodcuts illustrating Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol. First trip to Dangast with Schmidt-Rottluff. The woodcut yields to the lithograph. 135 of them by 1909.

1909

Travels to Rome via Verona, Padua, Venice and Ravenna. Spent the summer by the Moritzburg lakes and in the autumn went again to Dangast. Italy introduced him to Etruscan art.

1910

Friendhip with Otto Mueller. Cofounds Neue Secession in Berlin.

1911

Autumn: moves to Berlin and took over Mueller’s studio in Mommsenstrasse. Summers spent in various places on the Baltic: Prerov, Hiddensee and Fehmarn until he discovers Osterholz on the firth of Flensburg where he goes reguarily until 1944.

1912

Two Men at a Table is a scene from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot

1913

Dissolution of der Brucke.

One man exhibition at Fritz Gurlitt’s and a joint exhibition with Vlaminck at I.B. Neumann’s.

1914

Volunteers for the war but unfit for active service.

1915

Voluntary service with the Red Cross in Flanders until 1918 as a medical orderly. There he met Max Beckmann and James Ensor. The duty roster allow for artistic activities every other day.

1918

Returns to Berlin in November.

1924

From frequent journeys about Europe.

1937

729 works confiscated

1944

Destruction of his Berlin studio. Moved to Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance

1949

Appointed to the Karlsruhe academy. Worked there until 1955

1970

Died January 27 in Hemmenhofen.

 

SOURCES

1.  The Expressionists. Wolf-Dieter Dube, trans by Mary Whittall. Thames and Hudson 1972.