/ French 1912-1992
“I jot down my fleeting ideas in the form of numerous
sketches and, as if for a musical score, they continue to be worked out.”
Just sixteen when
he enrolled at the Breslau Art Academy, Johnny Friedlaender
studied under masters Otto Mueller—a member of the famous German Expressinist artist’s group known as Die Brucke—and Carlo Mense
of the New Objectivity school.
Already at this time Friedlaender was working in
lithography and etching, the techniques for which he would become renowned.
Moving to Dresden in 1930, Friedlaender
exhibited his work at Galerie J Sandel
and at the Dresden
Art Museum. His first
one-man show of etchings was held at Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia where he had emigrared after spending two years in a Nazi concentration
camp. He eventually settled in Paris
where he exhibited his etchings at L’Eqquipe and Matieres et Formes—shows
opposing Nazi ideology, sponsored by art critic and historian Gaston Diehl.
Friedlaender, who became a French citizen in 1950, travelled,
worked and exhibited throughout Europe, Asia and North
America. In 1957, he received
the Biennial Kakamura Prize in Tokyo,
and in 1959 was awarded a post by UNESCO at the Museum
of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro.
A retrospective of Friedlaender’s works was held at the Museum
of Modern Art in Paris in 1978. Three years later, he was
awarded the Louis Corinth Prize in Regensburg.
Retrospectives to celebrate his 75th and 80th birthdays
were held in Germany at the Biemen Art Museum and in the civic offices of Bonn.