Born in Stuttgart on September 4th 1888. Both his parents died when he was still a child and by the age of 15 he was completely independent and fully supporting himself as an apprentice in a veneer inlay workshop.
In 1906 he enrolled as a student at the StuttgartKunstgewerbeschule and he also studied at the Akademie der Bildendenkünste where he became Adolf Hölzel’s master pupil. In 1919 he exhibited at the gallery ‘Der Sturm’ in Berlin and was invited to Weimar by Gropius to run the Sculpture department and stage workshop at the Bauhaus.
He gained international acclaim with the premiere of his ‘Triadisches Ballet’ which was performed in Stuttgart in 1922, with music composed by Paul Hindemith.
He resigned from the Bauhaus in 1929 and in 1932 was given a professorship at the Vereinigte Statsschulen in Berlin, but in the following year he was forced to resign by the National Socialists who believed his work to be ‘degenerate’. In 1937 Schlemmer moved with his family to Sehringenbefore his pictures were displayed in the ‘National socialists exhibition of degenerate art’.
His final years were spent working in a paint factory, together with Willi Baumeister and Georg Muche. The factory was owned by Kurt Herbert; and offered the opportunity to paint without Nazi persecution. His last paintings; the ‘Window Series’ (‘Fensterbilber’), were 18 small, mystical pictures, painted while looking out of the window of his house.
Oskar Schlemmer died in 1943 and was one of the most versatile artists of the 20th century, leaving behind a large body of work, including murals, sculpture, drawing and painting, along with his stage designs and published theories of art.