Grundig, Lea (1906–1977) and Hans (1901–1958)

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GRUNDIG, LEA (1906–1977) and HANS (1901–1958)

GRUNDIG, LEA (1906–1977) and HANS (1901–1958), German painters and graphic artists. Both were born in Dresden. Lea Grundig, born Lea Langer, began to study at the Dresden Academy of Arts in 1922. Already involved with the association of Communist students, she became a member of the German Communist Party (kpd) in 1926. Two years later, she married Hans Grundig, also a member of the Communist Party, and they both began to create posters and illustrations for Communist purposes. Lea Grundig focused on linolcuts, etchings, and drawings in a late-expressionist style describing the milieu of the lower classes, as in Mutter und Kind vor der Fabrik of 1933 ("Mother and Child in Front of the Factory"). Hans Grundig was recognized first for painted group portraits, like kpdVersammlung ("Meeting of the German Communist Party," 1932, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin) in the neorealist style of the Neue Sachlichkeit, but soon turned to expressionist etching. In the mid-1930s, he created a series of allegories, human and brutish monsters in etching in which he denounced the National Socialist system as based on all-embracing terror. Both Hans und Lea Grundig were persecuted by the National Socialist authorities and had to give up working as artists. Lea was deported but managed to flee to Palestine in 1940, where she created several series of etchings related to the Holocaust. Hans Grundig was incarcerated and sent to the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen in 1940. He survived and met his wife again in 1949, when she returned to Dresden. She became a professor at the local Academy of Fine Arts. From the 1950s, they both adapted the style of socialist realism and took an active part in visualizing the ideology of the German Democratic Republic.


G. Bruene, Lea GrundigJuedin, Kommunistin, Graphikerin (Catalogue, Ladengalerie Berlin, 1996); K. Mueller and D. Rose, Lea GrundigWerkverzeichnis der Radierungen 19331973 (1973); G. Feist, Hans Grundig (1979); R. Neugebauer: Zeichnen im Exil-Zeichen des Exils, Handzeichnungen und Druckgraphik deutschsprachiger Emigranten ab 1933 (2003), 447–50; S. Weber, Hans Grundig: Schaffen im Verborgenen (2001).

[Philipp Zschommler (2nd ed.)]