MOPP


MOPP
MOPP (Max Oppenheimer; 1885–1954), painter and printmaker. Born in Vienna, he studied there from 1900 to 1903 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague from 1903 to 1906. He returned to Vienna in 1908. With the artists Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, Oppenheimer originated Austrian Expressionism, a style characterized by distorted form, exaggerated or unnatural color, and intensely expressive lines intended to signify turbulent emotion. Oppenheimer signed his name as Mopp beginning in 1910. Both Mopp's and Kokoschka's portraits, which share very similar visual characteristics, helped to establish Expressionism as the major Viennese visual style by 1907. Mopp was a masterly portraitist, with deep psychological insight. Among   his many sitters were the writer Thomas Mann (1913), writer Arthur Schnitzler, composer Arnold Schönberg, and composer Anton Webern (1909). After travel and study in Holland, France, and Italy, Mopp moved to Berlin in 1911, where he contributed drawings to the Expressionist periodical Die Aktion. During the same year, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Thannhauser in Munich. The poster for the exhibition created a scandal because of its adaptation of Mopp's painting The Bleeding Man, an image of the artist as a wounded, semi-nude Christ. Mopp often composed paintings with religious, specifically Christian themes. In addition to The Bleeding Man, among other works, the artist produced several etchings for the German edition of Gustave Flaubert's Legend of St. Julian the Hospitable. Mopp fled from the rising National Socialist movement in Germany to Berne in 1915 and then to Zurich a year later. During this period, Mopp composed still lifes in a Cubist and Futurist style and experimented with Dada. With artist marcel janco , Mopp created decorations and the Dada dancers' masks for the Cabaret Voltaire, and exhibited pictures there for the Cabaret's 1916 opening night. In addition, Mopp, with Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky, Janco, and Pablo Picasso, contributed to Hugo Ball's 1916 pamphlet titled Cabaret Voltaire. A music-lover and an accomplished violinist, Mopp painted many group portraits of celebrated string quartets. For example, Mopp's painting The Klinger Quartet (1916) is a tondo or circular composition in which the repeated depiction of the musician's expressive hands seeks to visually communicate the quality and rhythm of the sound emanating from the instruments. Mopp's massive painting The Symphony (1920–40), a work upon which Thomas Mann commented in an essay, was intended as an homage to the late Gustav Mahler. In 1924, 200 of the artist's now well-known orchestra works were shown in an exhibition organized by the Viennese Hagenbund artists' association. Later, Mopp's work revealed the influence of the Neue Sachlichkeit. The artist relocated frequently in the years before and during World War II. Between 1917 and 1923, Mopp lived in Geneva and Vienna; he resided in Berlin in 1924 and 1925, but returned once again to Vienna in 1932. In the latter city, Mopp exhibited at the Wiener Künstlerhaus. After he was labeled by the National Socialists as a "degenerate artist," nine pieces of Mopp's work were removed from German museums in 1937. The following year, the artist fled to New York. At the end of his life, his work displayed an Impressionist style. In addition to Flaubert's book, Mopp illustrated several more publications, including stories by heinrich heine and two works by the chess master, emanuel lasker . Mopp's work is represented in numerous museums, including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada; the Jewish Museum, Prague; and the Leopold Museum, Vienna. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mopp. Max Oppenheimer, 1885–1954: Ju edisches Museum der Stadt Wien, 23. Juni bis 18. September 1994 (1994); M.-A. von Puttkamer, Max Oppenheimer, MOPP (1885–1954): Leben und malerisches Werk mit einem Werkverzeichnis der Ge ma elde (1999). (Nancy Buchwald (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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