A forgotten Artist

Oskar Schlemmer and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner praised him; the Swiss art world celebrates him as a key figure of modernism: Otto Meyer-Amden (Bern 1885–1933 Zurich). His subtle œuvre is barely known in Germany and the rest of Europe however. The Ernst Barlach Haus in Hamburg now presents the first showing of Meyer-Amden’s work. There will be around 70 figure paintings, portraits, still lifes, landscapes and pages from the artist’s diary on view. At their heart are the “boarding school pictures”, in which the former orphanage boy condenses everyday scenes into existential allegories. Meyer-Amden’s compositions are both figurative and abstract, organic and geometric, precise and diffuse, concrete and yet ethereal. His visual language holds meaning in a balance that – according to the artist – “is intended to do justice to the cosmos and the square.”