Dicker-Brandeis, Friedl [Dicker, Friederike]
- Courtney Gerber
(b Vienna, July 30, 1898; d Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oct 9, 1944).
Austrian designer, painter, teacher and political activist. The only child of Simon Dicker and Karolina Fanta, she studied photography with Johannes Beckmann in Vienna at the Graphische Lehr- unde Versuchsanstalt in 1914. She mastered the medium within two years, but found its expressive potential limiting and did not pursue it further. In 1915 Dicker-Brandeis enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna as a student of painter Franz Cižek. In 1916 she transferred to Johannes Itten’s private school in Vienna where she engaged with Itten’s unconventional teaching methods, which focused on unearthing one’s creative powers through meditation, colour theory and interpreting the rhythmic and formal language of art while allowing them to converge. She decided to leave Vienna in 1919 so that she could continue working with Itten who had been offered a post at the Bauhaus School in Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis remained at the Bauhaus until 1923, training in the textile, printing, painting, sculpture and stage design workshops. Her instructors included such artists as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. An exemplary student, after her first year she was asked to teach Itten’s Basic Course for the school’s new students. While at the Bauhaus Dicker-Brandeis created a myriad of works ranging from fine art works on paper to children’s toys. The mixed-media composition ...