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Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Der Mondamtsschimmelreiter (The Moon Rider Official on a White Horse), 1956, colored pencil on cardboard, 28 3/4 x 20".

Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern

Michael Werner | New York

Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Der Mondamtsschimmelreiter (The Moon Rider Official on a White Horse), 1956, colored pencil on cardboard, 28 3/4 x 20".

Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern’s biography is almost as fantastical as his art. Born in 1892 in East Prussia, he muddled through life until, at the age of twenty-six, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a sanatorium. One year later he showed up in Berlin, where he soon found considerable renown as a “naturopath”—a quack doctor, magnetist, and “prophet of the street.” This career path was cut off by the Nazis’ interdiction of occult practices, and after being confined in psychiatric institutes and in a penal camp, Schröder-Sonnenstern reemerged in 1944, scavenging firewood in the bombed-out German capital. Only in his late fifties, in 1949, did he begin to draw, using colored pencils to create allegorical grotesques stocked with a personal iconography of round breasts and equally round buttocks, snakes, horses, small smiling suns, angel wings, free-floating

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