Welcome to the works of one of Europe's most defining artist of German Illustrative Expressionism.
Waldemar Otto Flaig was born 1892 in the German Black Forest town of Villingen. His artisan background had several artistic roots among them his maternal great uncle the well-known local copper engraver and portrait painter Schertle.
He studied at art academies in Karlsruhe and Munich . In the Great War he suffered serious injuries on the Western Front. His war experience formed a constant backdrop in his artistic work. After 1918 he established himself as one of the best know painters of the illustrative expressionism in southern Germany.
He moved with his family between homes in Meersburg on Lake Constance, Berlin, Dessau and Düsseldorf. It was in cosmopolitan Berlin that he received recognition as an up-and-coming, but uncompromising young painter. His works were exhibited in galleries and art fairs. He developed artistic friendships with Otto Dix (see the 1924 portrait), Karl Hofer, Gerd Wollheim and Hans Purrmann. He could count celebrities including the theatre impressario Max Reinhardt and the art critic Max Osborn among his collectors. He developed a friendship with the exotic Russian, jewish dancer Tatjana Barbakoff and painted several impressive portraits. His painting of her in 1925 was later decreed as 'degenerate art' by the nazis and removed from the gallery in Constance and presumably destroyed.
In the years after 1921 he exhibited in numerous locations throughout Germany, Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Dessau, Munich and Hamburg are all documented. In Berlin non other than Gurlitt exhibited his work. It is not yet known whether any of Flaig's works are among the collection recently found in Munich.
The highlights of his works are oil paintings, landscapes and portraits, watercolours, wood and lino cuts, eraser drawings, glass paintings, and frescos.
Through his early death, the artist at least avoided the pain of the infamous Nazi dictum to declare much of his work as degenerate art "Entartete Kunst“ , which led to the removal of his paintings from many German galleries.
Waldemar Flaig managed to live for only 4 decades. In a mere 20 years he produced a rich harvest. This website is dedicated to bringing this fascinating and substantial body of work to a wider audience.