Friedrich Schröder Sonnenstern

31 10 2016

Friedrich Schröder Sonnenstern (born Friedrich Schröder; 11 September 1892 – 10 May 1982), was a German artist and painter. He is considered one of the most important representatives of Art Brut or Outsider Art.

In 1933 in Schleswig-Holstein he met the artist Hans Ralf, who first encouraged him to draw, but it was not until 1942, following spells in prison and a labour camp during World War II that his career as an artist really started. At the Surrealist exposition in Paris in 1959 he was celebrated as one of the most impressive artists of the 20th century and was recognised by Jean Dubuffet among others.

His success was short-lived, and his works became less frequent and eventually he resorted to employing other people to produce his work for him. He became increasingly dependent on alcohol following the death, in 1964, of his long-time companion, Martha Möller whom he called Aunt Martha. The difference between genius and schizophenic has been highlighted by extensive research on this enigmatic person by professional psychologist Alfred Bader.

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