Ehrlich, Georg

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EHRLICH, GEORG (1897–1966), graphic artist and sculptor. Born in Vienna, he studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Vienna under Oscar Strnad and Franz Cizek from 1912 to 1915. During World War i he served in the Austrian Army until 1918. In 1919 at his first exhibition Ehrlich became known for lithographs revealing the influence of Oskar Kokoschka. After he had been exhibited along with other modern artists such as Barlach, Beckmann, and Kokoschka in Munich, Paul Cassirer approached him with a commission for an album of lithographs entitled "Biblical Portfolio." The lithographs of this album reflect a deeply conscious Jewish identification and an intensely Jewish upbringing. At the same time, Ehrlich also painted watercolors of landscapes. He took up sculpture in 1926, in the graceful, elongated style of Lehmbruck, who remained a lasting influence. He cast numerous small-scale sculptures and busts in bronze, his favorite material. Ehrlich was already a prominent artist when in 1937 he was forced by the Nazis to leave Austria. He settled in England where he soon became established. His heads of the composer Benjamin Britten (1950) and the singer Peter Pears are among the finest works of this period. His work appears in leading museums in Britain, the U.S., and Israel.

add. bibliography:

G. Kreuter (ed.), Georg Ehrlichgraphische Arbeiten (2002); A. Hoerschelmann (ed.), Georg Ehrlich. 1897–1966 (1997); R. Oberbeck (ed.), Georg Ehrlich (1897–1966). Von der Zeichnung zur Bronzegestaltgewordene Suche nach Versöhnung (2004); E. Tietze-Conrad, Georg Ehrlich (1956).

[Charles Samuel Spencer /

Sonja Beyer (2nd ed.)]