Erich Schmid (Wien 1908 - Paris 1984)


Erich Schmid was born on October 14th 1908 in Vienna. Between 1925 and 1930 he studied psychology at the University of Vienna and psychoanalysis (his teacher was Wilhelm Reich). Afterwards he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (the school of arts and crafts) in Vienna and the Reimann School of Art and Design, a private art school, in Berlin.

In the 1930ies he was in close contact with his artist colleagues Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Hans Böhler and started to participate in exhibitions, amongst others at the Viennese Secession. During those years he became friends with the writer Hans Meier, better known as Jean Améry, with whom he shared a lifelong friendship.

In 1938 Erich Schmid emigrated to Belgium, where he met Améry again. Two years later he left Brussels and went into hiding in Paris, where he was arrested and deported to a French detention centre together with Améry in 1940. In 1943 he fled from the camp in Rivesaltes, joined the Résistance in 1944 and participated in the liberation of Lyon. In 1945 he joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in Italy.

He returned to Paris the next year and came to know the paintress Eva Friedmann. In 1947 he moved to the Rue Rollin in the 5th district, where he equiped his apartment and studio. In 1951 Schmid celebrated his first exhibition in France. From 1954 he was supported by the Mendel family, which bought several works for their family-owned museum in Canada. In 1958 he came to know his later partner, the US-paintress Gail Singer, and participated in group-exhibitions of painters from Lyon.

More exhibition in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and the USA followed in between 1960 and 1975, the last big Schmid-exhibition took place in Paris in 1981. Two years later, in 1983, Schmid’s partner Gail Singer died and one year after that Erich Schmid passed away in Paris on December 30th 1984.

Widder Fine Arts


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