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Johnny Gotthard Friedlaender (Polish-German 1912-1992)
Johnny Gotthard Friedlaender was born in Pless (Silesia) and his early studies were in Breslau under Otto Mueller. He later moved to Dresden and in 1935 he fled the Nazis by going to Czechoslovakia. In 1937 he moved to the Hague, in Holland, where he first exhibited.
It was not long before he went to live in Paris. During the war he worked in the French resistance, based in the south of France. After the war he returned to live and work in Paris though he paid frequent visits to the United States, where he taught and published some of his most important etchings. Though a fine abstract painter, he was also one of the most important masters and teachers of colored etching of the post-war years. His techniques influenced S. W. Hayter at Atelier 17 and many others of his contemporaries. The early works, now becoming scarce, were almost figurative and monochrome but by the end of the 1960s had become almost completely abstract, in a colorful, very distinctive and instantly recognizable style. He produced hundreds of etchings and the still incomplete catalogue runs into four volumes.
There have been very many exhibitions world-wide; Friedlaender bequeathed an enormous collection of his prints to the German State.