RENE BEEH (German / 1886-1922)

The premature death of the printmaker and painter René Beeh extinguished one of the brightest stars of German Expressionism. His striking lithographs produced before WWI are similar to those being produced by Oskar Kokoschka at the same date. After the war, René Beeh was a major contributor to the Münchner Blätter für Dichtung und Graphik, alongside Paul Klee and other major Expressionists. Beeh also contributed to the journal Ganymed, which also published Max Unold's powerful woodcut In Memoriam René Beeh after his sudden and unexpected death. Because his output was limited, René Beeh's current relative obscurity does not reflect the high esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries. Nevertheless his lithographs are held in most major museums, including MoMA and the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies at LACMA. René Beeh studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg, and was allied with, though not part of, the circle of Strasbourg artists who formed the Groupe de Mai in 1919. After his studies in Strasbourg, René Beeh attended the Fine Art Academy in Munich, where he studied under Halm, Stuck, and Habermann. Beeh was a member of the New Munich Secession, and was particularly associated with Max Unold and Richard Seewald. From 1910-1912 René Beeh travelled in North Africa, a major influence on his pre-war work. René Beeh was profoundly marked by the horrors of his experience at the front in WWI. Those horrors were exacerbated for a man like René Beeh, whose cultural affiliations were divided between France and Germany. Beeh seems to have suffered from serious depression after the war, and apparently destroyed much of his own work. There was a Retrospective of René Beeh's prints and paintings at the Musée Historique de Hagenau in 2008, the first exhibition of his work in France since 1922. After his death a monograph on his work was published with essays by Wilhelm Hausenstein and Hans Haug, René Beeh: Zeichnungen, Briefe, Bilder.

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Selected prints by RENE BEEH

Bettler, 1921

View all available prints by RENE BEEH