Barlach, Ernst (ĕrnst bärˈläkh) [key], 1870–1938, German expressionist sculptor, graphic artist, and writer. After studying at the Dresden Art Academy he lived in Paris (1895–96) and in Berlin, Hamburg, and other German cities. A trip to Russia in 1906 gave new impetus to his art. Barlach pioneered in the introduction of expressionism into Germany. Through the power of his simple, angular, and compact forms, he communicated intense emotion and compassion. From clay modeling he turned to wood carving and woodcutting. Many of his works were destroyed by the Nazis; however, some remain in Lüneberg and the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, Mass. Barlach illustrated some of his poems and plays.
See his Three Plays (tr. 1964); study by Carl D. Carls (1969).
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