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Live-in studio of Max Kaus (ca. 1913–1923)

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Shortly after completing his studies at the Kunstgewerbe- und Handwerkerschule in Charlottenburg, the young painter Max Kaus moved into a new live-in studio on Guerickestraße in 1913. The rented apartment was on the fifth floor and thus, like the homes of many other Brücke artists, right under the roof. After having shared his previous living and studio space with a student friend, he now had the new Charlottenburg domicile all to himself. The nearby banks of the Landwehr Canal were perfect for taking long walks.

Max Kaus, Selbstbildnis I, 1919, Brücke-Museum, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

When Kaus and the Brücke artist Erich Heckel were deployed as medics in Ostend, Belgium, during the First World War, Kaus’ mother took over the rent for the apartment so that he could keep it. Upon his return, his artistic work increasingly focused on his own home from 1919 onwards. He created a series of expressive yet melancholy interiors: the artist himself is repeatedly shown in the centre of each scene, at times with his girlfriend, the porcelain painter Gertrud (“Turu”) Kant.

Isabel Fischer

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