Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Selma de Coudres-Plawneek

Coudres-Plawneek, Selma des
(Riga 02-01-1883 – 04-03-1956 Fürstenfeldbruck)
Painter and printmaker.

I met this unknown painter/printmaker researching Cläre Neuhaus in before posting. Just the one woodblock print I was able to find. Like Cläre she will have been to Klemm and Thiemann in Dachau for training and study. Before it became synonym with the atrocities of Nazi Germany Dachau was one of Germany’s best known artist colonies. 

She was born Zelma Pļavniece (or Plawneck), daughter of timber trader Thomas Plawneek (d.1891) and Olga Brunowski. Studied in Riga  in the “Zeichenschule” with Elise Jung-Stilling (1829-1904) and graduated from St. Petersburg academy as a teacher at drawing in 1903. Elise Stilling proved to be a highly interesting and very influential woman: more later.

Further studies with Jan Rosenthals (1866-1917)) and Vilhelms Purvitis (1872-1945) in Riga 1909-1919 she exhibited drawings, wood- and linocut prints with the Riga “Städtische Kunstverein”. Works were bought by director Wilhelm Neumann (1849-1919) for his Riga Museum. With a grant from the estate of George Wilhelm Timm (1820-1895) she was able to study from 1909 in Munich with Max Doerner (1870-1939) and in Dachau with Adolf Hölzel (1853-1934) and 1909-1911 with Julius Exter (1863-1939) in Feldwies am Chiemsee. Until 1914 she travelled between Riga and Munich. 

Much of her work was exhibited in the 1918 Livland-Estland exhibition in the Berlin Academy. In 1919 she settled in Fürtsenfeldbruck and 1921 married 20 year older (and a head and a half shorter) painter Adolf des Coudres (1862-1924).

In 1923 she exhibited for the last time in Munich.  She was actively involved in the founding of the Fürstenfeldbruck artists association also action as board member. She lost her fortune in the depression and during the Nazi and WW2 period had to give up her avant-garde and expressionist style of painting to make a living, suffered from bad health and died impoverished.

She exhibited paintings, wood and linocut prints as one of the best known Baltic artists in the exhibitions of the Baltic “Künsterbundes” in the “Kunstverein Riga” and in the “Städtischen Kunstmuseum Riga”. Prints were published from 1907(!) in “Jahrbuch der Bildender Künstler der Ostseeprovinzen’.

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

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