The extensive estate of the multitalented artist Einar Schleef (1944–2001) found two permanent homes after his death. The Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts, Berlin) took over his oeuvre from the fields of literature, theatre, photography and film, while the artist’s artistic legacy has been on permanent loan from his heirs to Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) since 2004. It has been preserved as a complete set and includes 14 paintings, 6.878 drawings, 26 prints, 39 printing plates and 8 photographs from over 30 years of the artist’s creative career.
The bequest is a great stroke of luck for the museum. Artistically, the works take on the styles of Modernism, which ties in with the profile of the museum’s collection. In terms of his stylistic development as a painter, Schleef counts among the New Figuration artists of the late 1970s and 1980s, who revived Expressionism and took it to a new level in the form of free, gestural painting. Moreover, Schleef’s work makes its own special contribution to the art and culture of East and West Germany in the second half of the 20th century. His works frequently focus on the divided Germany, both before and after his flight from the GDR in 1976.
So far, his artistic legacy has been presented in two exhibitions and publications. At the end of May 2019, to mark what would have been his 75th birthday, his entire estate was published online. It can be viewed on the museum-digital portal.