Gerhard Marcks (1889-1981, German) is primarily known for his sculptures, woodcuts and lithographs. Marcks was born in Berlin and started his art career at the age of 18 under an apprenticeship to the sculptor Richard Scheibe. Early on Marcks seemed to be interested in animals, and during this time he created many terra-cotta animal sculptures. In 1919, Marcks was one of the first artists to work at Bauhaus. His first woodcuts were of animals such as Die Katzen (The Cats). Marcks mixed expressionism with that of Gothic sculpture to create his unique style. However, after WWII August Gaul’s style played an influential role in Marcks’ animal sculptures.
With the rise of the Nazis in 1933, Marcks lost his job at Bauhaus and his works were deemed degenerate. Even so, he remained in Germany where many of his works were confiscated and destroyed. The Gerhard Marcks Haus was established in the 70’s and now houses the majority of his works. In 1952 he was made a knight of the peace class of the order “Pour la Mérité”. And in 1981 he died of a stroke.