Christian Schad

Christian Schad, “Sirius”, 1915, Swiss Stone Lithograph

Christian Schad was a painter and printmaker who was preoccupied with Futurism, Cubism, and later, Expressionism. In 1915, Schad, along with his friend Walter Serner, published “Sirius: A Monthly Magazine for Literature and Art,” in Zurich. The magazine was forced to close after only seven issues. Schad designed the advertising posters and a full page woodcut for each issue.

Schad’s works of 1915–1916 show the influence of Cubism and Futurism. During his stay in Italy in the years between 1920 and 1925, he developed a smooth, realistic style that recalls the clarity he admired in the paintings of Rapael. Upon returning to Berlin in 1927 he painted some of the most significant works of the New Objectivity movement.

In 1918 Schad began experimenting with cameraless photographic images inspired by Cubism. This process had been first used, in the years 1834 and 1835, by William Henry Talbot who made cameraless images, that is, prints made by placing objects onto photosensitive paper and then exposing the paper to sunlight. By 1919 Schad was creating photograms from random arrangements of discarded objects he had collected such as torn tickets, receipts and rags. He is probably the first to do so strictly as an art form, preceding Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagyby at least a year or two.

Leave a Reply