WELCOME TO MARK VALLEN'S "ART FOR A CHANGE" WEBSITE
Painting by Gert Wollheim
Painting by Gert Wollheim
Painting by Gert Wollheim
Painting by Gert Wollheim

BACK TO EXPRESSIONISTS

The Wounded Man
Gert Wollheim
Oil on Wood 1919

Like many of his contemporaries, Wollheim had been inducted and served in the First World War. While in the trenches he produced dozens of sketches, many of which later became the basis for a series of profound antiwar paintings.

Wollheim himself was shot in the stomach and nearly died from the serious wound - and it is certain this experience was the inspiration for this disturbing work, Der Verwundete (The Wounded Man). The terrible misery that German soldiers suffered during the war led to their radicalization. Their lives had been squandered on the battlefields, and when they returned home, mutilated, crippled, and shell shocked, they were unwanted and forgotten.

Veterans joined the ranks of millions of unemployed workers and many became beggars. When Wollheim created this nightmarish painting, he was poor and Germany was suffering a number of shortages. As art materials were difficult to come by, the artist put together two sheets of wood as the "canvas" for his painting - the line connecting the sheets can be clearly seen in the center of the work. Wollheim was in the circle of Expressionist artists living in Dusseldorf known as Das Junge Rheinland (The Young Rheinland), and he also became part of the aggressively political Aktivistenbund 1919 (Activist League 1919), a group of artists and intellectuals dedicated to pacifism and working class politics. Wollheim emigrated to the U.S. after the war, and died in New York City in 1974.
www.art-for-a-change.com is owned and operated by Mark Vallen All text by Mark Vallen.