Ernst Geitlinger vor seinem Gemaelde "Nacht 1965"
Permanent collection :

Ernst Geitlinger Gemälde & Arbeiten auf Papier

Ernst Geitlinger (1895–1972) was an innovative painter throughout his life and is regarded as a pioneer of geometric abstract painting in Germany. The selection of works in the permanent Geitlinger Collection reveals how the artist increasingly moved away from representation to finally concentrating on pure relationships between form and colour.

The permanent exhibition on works of Ernst Geitlinger
The permanent exhibition on works of Ernst Geitlinger. Photo Edwin Scharff Museum, Nik Schölzel

Geitlinger, who was born in Frankfurt, lived in New York for many years before returning to Germany to study fine art. His art was deemed to be ‘degenerate’ in the Nazi period. Ernst Geitlinger was a co-founder of the “Neue Gruppe” of artists in Munich and represented Germany at the 1948 Venice Biennale. Between 1952 and 1965 he was Professor of Painting and Graphic Arts at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste [Academy of Visual Arts] in Munich where he became a role model for the emergence of experimental abstract art after 1945. He died in 1972 in Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg (Bavaria).

Ernst Geitlinger, Karussell (carrousel), 1964
Ernst Geitlinger, Karussell (carrousel), 1964, acrylic on canvas
Interactive mediastation in the exhibition on Ernst Geitlinger
Interactive mediastation in the exhibition on Ernst Geitlinger. Photo Edwin Scharff Museum, Nik Schölzel

Unlike Edwin Scharff, who was born in Neu-Ulm, there are no biographical connections between Ernst Geitlinger and Neu-Ulm. Since the 1990s, the now dissolved Ernst Geitlinger Society, an association of his former students, has made a large part of the bequest available to the town of Neu-Ulm. The collection has been supplemented in recent years by a number of purchases. Since 2009 – on the occasion of the museum’s reopening in 2018 – the descendants have also bequeathed to the museum a significant collection of graphic works on paper.

Exhibition: On the wall from left to right, two works by Ernst Geitlinger
Exhibition: On the wall from left to right, two works by Ernst Geitlinger as well as two works by Klaus Staudt; in front a sculpture by Ben Muthofer. Photo Edwin Scharff Museum, Nik Schölzel
The permanent exhibition on works of Ernst Geitlinger
The permanent exhibition on works of Ernst Geitlinger. Photo Edwin Scharff Museum, Nik Schölzel

press material

Publikation :

Ernst Geitlinger – Werksverzeichnis 1924—1974: Gemälde & Arbeiten auf Papier

Texts: Roswitha Nees

Ed.: Ernst Geitlinger Gesellschaft, München.
Saarbrücken 1991. 407 pages
25 €

Biography :ERNST GEITLINGER 1887—1955

1895
Ernst Geitlinger is born on the 13th of February in Frankfurt / Main. When he was half a year old, his father died and his mother married his fathers cousin Ernst Bürgin in 1899. The family lives temporarily in Italy and Switzerlan

Ernst Geitlinger at the age of 3 on a bicycle designed for him by his stepfather Ernst Bürgin
Ernst Geitlinger at the age of 3 on a bicycle designed for him by his stepfather Ernst Bürgin. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1913-22
Due to professional changes of the stepfather the family moves to New York.
Ernst Geitlinger studies at the Academy of Design and becomes an employee in the studio of stage designer Winold Reiss. Geitlinger works as a theater painter and teaches drawing on the side. In 1920 he marries Martha Katenkamp in New York (the couple separates in 1935).

Ernst Geitlinger (standing far right) at the painting school in New York, 1920s
Ernst Geitlinger (standing far right) at the painting school in New York, 1920s. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Wäscheleinen (clotheslines), New York, 1924
Ernst Geitlinger, Wäscheleinen (clotheslines), New York, 1924, coal on paper, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1922-31
Ernst Geitlinger commutes between Munich and New York until 1929. He becomes a student in the Karl Caspar painting class at the Academy of Fine Arts. With interruptions he studies until 1931.

Ernst Geitlinger in New York, 1920s
Ernst Geitlinger in New York, 1920s. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Portrait Ernst Bürgin (portrait of Ernst Bürgin), 1927
Ernst Geitlinger, Portrait Ernst Bürgin (portrait of Ernst Bürgin), 1927, oil on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1932-45
Geitlinger settles in Munich. He participates in exhibitions at the Deutscher Künstlerbund and at the “Neue Münchner Sezession”. Until 1934 he was a member of the group of “Juryfreien”. Ernst Geitlinger is an enthusiastic supporter of the Schwabing Artists’ Festival and works as its designer on the side. From 1933 on Geitlinger’s art is considered “degenerate”; he is banned from exhibitions. After his attempts to emigrate failed, the artist withdraws into “inner emigration”.

Ernst Geitlinger in Kempten/Allgäu, c. 1935
Ernst Geitlinger in Kempten/Allgäu, c. 1935. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Radrennbahn (cycle racing track), 1938
Ernst Geitlinger, Radrennbahn (cycle racing track), 1938, oil on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1935-1943
Ernst Geitlinger marries Marianne Isler. From 1942 on they settle down in Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg.

Marianne and Ernst Geitlinger in Constance
Marianne and Ernst Geitlinger in Constance. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Im alten Kleid (in the old dress), 1936
Ernst Geitlinger, Im alten Kleid (in the old dress), 1936, oil on plucking, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1942-45
Military service. Ernst Geitlinger works as an interpreter in a prison camp.

Ernst Geitlinger, Selbstportrait (self-portrait), 1940
Ernst Geitlinger, Selbstportrait (self-portrait), 1940, oil on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Das Zeitungsgespenst (newspaper ghost), 1943
Ernst Geitlinger, Das Zeitungsgespenst (newspaper ghost), 1943, collage and mixed media on paper, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1946
Geitlinger is co-founder of the “New Group” in Munich.

Ernst Geitlinger in front of the Lenbachhaus in Munich
Ernst Geitlinger in front of the Lenbachhaus in Munich. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Rosenmontag (carnival monday), 1946
Ernst Geitlinger, Rosenmontag (carnival monday), 1946, mixed media on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1948
Participation in the Venice Biennale.

Ernst Geitlinger, Munich 1949
Ernst Geitlinger, Munich 1949. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Eckles Mann (Eckles man), 1947
Ernst Geitlinger, Eckles Mann (Eckles man), 1947, mixed media on paper, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1950
Ernst Geitlinger is a founding member of the Deutscher Künstlerbund.

Ernst Geitlinger in his garden in Seeshaupt
Ernst Geitlinger in his garden in Seeshaupt. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Karussell (carrousel), 1954
Ernst Geitlinger, Karussell (carrousel), 1954, oil on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1950-65
Regular participation in the “Große Münchner Kunstausstellung” at the Haus der Kunst.

Ernst Geitlinger in front of his painting „Nacht“ (night), 1965
Ernst Geitlinger in front of his painting „Nacht“ (night), 1965. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Nacht (night), 1961
Ernst Geitlinger, Nacht (night), 1961, dispersion on plucking, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1951
Member of the “Frankfurt and Darmstadt Secession”. Geitlinger is appointed professor for painting and graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and teaches there until 1965.

Ernst Geitlinger during correction in the painting class of the Munich Art Academy, 1964.
Ernst Geitlinger during correction in the painting class of the Munich Art Academy, 1964. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Feierabend eines Dienstmannes (end of the work day), 1966
Ernst Geitlinger, Feierabend eines Dienstmannes (end of the work day), 1966, acrylic on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

C. 1958-62
The artist increasingly experiments with different materials such as bark, wooden slats, aluminium plates, silver foil, Eternit (fibre cement) and Moltofill. 

Ernst Geitliner in front of his studio, 1962/63.
Ernst Geitliner in front of his studio, 1962/63. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Schwarz-Weiß (black-white), 1960
Ernst Geitlinger, Schwarz-Weiß (black-white), 1960, wooden sticks, acrylic on wooden plate, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1965-72
Geitlinger founds the painting school “atelier geitlinger” in Munich. 

Ernst Geitlinger with his painting „Weiß-Blau-Schwarz umgrenzt“ (1966)
Ernst Geitlinger with his painting „Weiß-Blau-Schwarz umgrenzt“ (1966). Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Großes Schwarz – kleines Gelb (big black – little yellow), 1969
Ernst Geitlinger, Großes Schwarz – kleines Gelb (big black – little yellow), 1969, dispersion on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm

1972
On the 28th of March Ernst Geitlinger dies in Seeshaupt.

Ernst Geitlinger 1971
Ernst Geitlinger, 1971. Photo Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm
Ernst Geitlinger, Grau tritt zurück (Rot-Grau-Schwarz) (grey steps back), 1971/72
Ernst Geitlinger, Grau tritt zurück (Rot-Grau-Schwarz) (grey steps back), 1971/72, dispersion on canvas, Städtische Sammlungen Neu-Ulm