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Artists in the Spotlight: Mark Gertler
Portrait von Mark Gertler The English artist Mark Gertler, born in 1891, came from a Jewish-Polish family. Gertler is regarded as one of the most important key figures in British art of the early 20th century. Already as a child he showed great talent for drawing. At the age of 17, thanks to a scholarship from the Jewish Education Aid Society, Gertler was able to enrol as a student at the renowned Slade School of Art in London, where he studied for a total of four years. At the art school he met the artists Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Christopher Nevinson and Dora Carrington. Before that he had taken evening classes at Regent Street School and also had to earn his salary as a simple worker in a stained glass window workshop. In the course of the 1910s, Gertler's initial academic and classical painting style developed into a more personal and almost post-Impressionist style. He painted with strong, bright colors. In the course of his artistic career he simplified and abstracted his figures and objects more and more. In 1920 Gertler fell ill with tuberculosis and had to spend much time in hospitals. Nevertheless he achieved great commercial success. Since the beginning of his art studies, the talented painter won several art prizes, a two-year Slade scholarship and a scholarship from the British Institute. The prolific Gertler was involved in several exhibitions, including one in 1914 with the artist John Currie at the Chenil Galleries. Gertler lived and worked mainly in London. He also made frequent trips to the big city of Paris. The many stays in a sanatorium did not stop the ambitious young man from continuing to paint. In the Banchory Sanatorium near Aberdeen, where he had to spend a lot of time, he painted the trees in front of his patient's room. In addition to his career as a freelance artist, he worked as a professor at Westminster School of Art from 1931 to supplement his income. Towards the end of his creative period, Gertler mainly painted nudes in a neoclassical manner as well as still lifes of cubist nature. Even in financially difficult times, Gertler could count on the support of his loyal patrons, including J.B. Priestley and Aldous Huxley. His physical and psychological strength, however, was diminished by his chronic and serious illness. The two world wars that he had to witness also caused the sensitive pacifist and conscientious objector a lot of trouble. Gertler committed suicide in 1939 when he was only 38 years old due to emotional and financial problems.

Young Girlhood, No. 2, 1920 - 1929 Head of the artists mother, 1910 (sanguine on paper) Flowers, 1917 Coster Family on Hampstead Heath, 1924 Nude Study for The Spanish Fan The Japanese Violin Hautbois, Norfolk, c.1936 (oil on canvas) Agapanthus, 1914 The apple woman and her husband Portrait of a Young Girl Peaches and a Green Bottle, 1931 Allegory, c.1910 Still Life with Apples and a Mixing Bowl, 1913 (panel) Portrait of Alice Irene Harvey Design with Benin Head Family Group, c.1908-13 Gilbert Cannan and his Mill, 1916 Still Life with Pomegranates and Fruit The Rabbi and his Grandchild, 1913 Portrait of Lydia Sherwood, 1907 Summer landscape
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