Max Ernst was a German painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet. A pioneer of the Dada movement, Ernst played an important role in popularizing surrealism during the early-20th century. He is also credited with inventing a couple of techniques, namely frottage and grattage. In 2005, the Max Ernst Museum was opened in his honor in Brühl, Germany.
It is believed Joseph Beuys was rescued by Tartars when his air force plane broke down in Crimea during World War II. He later gained fame as an avant-garde sculptor and artist and part of the group Fluxus. His works used unconventional media, with some even including staged actions.
Noted for series like Weavers’ Revolt and Peasants’ War, sculptor and graphic artist, Käthe Kollwitz, came in contact with the urban poor when she moved into Berlin's working class area. Touched by their plight, she soon started portraying them through her etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and drawings, quickly becoming a powerful advocate for those suffering from social injustice, war, and inhumanity.
German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, counted among leading figures of the Neo-Expressionist art movement of the late 20th century, is noted for his works like The Hierarchy of Angels (painting), The Secret Life of Plants (sculpture) and Grane (woodcut). Themes of Kiefer were often influenced by the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah, horror of the Holocaust and poems of Paul Celan.
One of the pioneers of Expressionism, German painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner co-established the artists’ group Die Brücke, or The Bridge. His iconic works such as Girl under Japanese Umbrella and Street, Berlin displayed psychological and erotic themes. Declared a "degenerate" by the Nazis, he later committed suicide.
German painter and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer had gained fame both for his paintings and for his choreographed avant-garde ballet productions such as Triadisches Ballett. He was a major influence behind bringing modern art exhibitions to the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Art. He had also served in World War I.
Born in Germany, Eva Hesse moved with her family to England, and then to the U.S., in a bid to escape the Nazi regime. Her death due to brain tumor at age 34 cut short her dynamic career. A sculptor and painter, she experimented with media such latex, metal, and mesh.
German artist and poet Kurt Schwitters, known for collage, artist's book, installation, sculpture and poetry, is noted for his collages and relief-constructions. Schwitters planned a Dada section in Hanover and the Merz art-style traces back to him, which he found by chance while forming a collage with the German word Kommerz. One of his notable works is Das Undbild, 1919.
German art-forger and artist Wolfgang Beltracchi gained notoriety for his involvement in an international art scam where he forged paintings of famous artists like Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, and Kees van Dongen and sold them to make profits that surpassed $100m. Beltracchi and his wife, Helene, were found guilty and were given six-year and four-year prison terms respectively.
11 Arno Breker
Arno Breker was a German architect and sculptor who was active during Nazi rule. The authorities endorsed his work as the antithesis of degenerate art. He created the statue Die Partei, representing the spirit of the Nazi Party. Hitler exempted Breker from military service and provided him several amenities for being the Nazi’s official sculptor.
12 Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann was a German painter, sculptor, draftsman, printmaker, and writer. Even though scholars classify him as an Expressionist artist, he personally never identified as one. He became involved with the New Objectivity movement in the 1920s. He taught at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University in his last years.
Georg Baselitz is a German painter, sculptor, and graphic artist known for his figurative, expressive paintings. He grew up in the wake of World War II, and the concept of destruction is an underlying theme seen in many of his works. He is known for inverting all his paintings. He is a recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
Part of the German avant-garde movement and a prominent Dadaist, poet and artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is best remembered for her sound poetry and her posthumously published book Body Sweats. It is believed the famous urinal Fountain sculpture thought to be a work of Marcel Duchamp was actually created by Elsa.
15 Franz Stuck
20 Max Klinger
21 Rebecca Horn
25 Elisabet Ney
26 Wolf Vostell
27 Isa Genzken
Marianne Brandt was a German painter, photographer, sculptor, designer, and metalsmith. She is credited with designing several household objects like ashtrays, teapots, and lamps that are regarded as a paradigm of modern industrial design. After studying at the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Marianne Brandt went on to serve as the head of the school's Metal Workshop in Dessau.
30 Veit Stoss
Thomas Demand is a German photographer and sculptor who had his debut solo exhibition in 1992 at Tanit Galerie in Munich. He then went on to display his works at popular art galleries like the Museum of Modern Art, Neue Nationalgalerie, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In 2011, he was nominated for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.