dorte clara wolff

Dodo, born as Dörte Clara Wolff (10 February 1907– 22 December 1998), was a German painter and illustrator of the New Objectivity.

Dörte Wolff was brought up in a comfortable upper middle-class Jewish environment in Berlin. She initially worked mainly as a fashion illustrator and also designed costumes for Marlene Dietrich and Diseuse Margo Lion in Mischa Spoliansky’s Revue Es liegt in der Luft, which premiered in 1928. From early on, she used to sign her works as DODO or DoDo. Dodo reached the peak of her artistic career between 1927 and 1930 with caustic genre scenes of Weimar Republic’s glamorous high society. More than 60 of her intensely colourful gouaches, narrating the sophisticated life of the modern urbanite and the increasing estrangement of the sexes, were published in the German satirical magazine ULK.

In 1929, Dodo married the Jewish lawyer and notary Dr. Hans Bürgner (1882–1974); the couple had two children. In 1933 she met Carl Gustav Jung disciple Dr. Gerhard Adler (1904–1988) with whom she fell in love. She followed him to Zürich, where she was analyzed by Toni Wolff (1888–1953), Jung´s close companion, at the Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich. Dodo expressed her dreams in her works, a sequence of watercolors which she characterized as “unconscious paintings”. As of 1934, Dodo could only work for Jewish publications, such as the Jüdische Rundschau, who frequently published her Bible illustrations, theatre scenes or drawings for children.

in 1936, Dodo emigrated to London, where she married Gerhard Adler after having been divorced from Bürgner. Her divorce from Adler followed in 1938 and Dodo and Hans Bürgner remarried in 1945. In her exile, Dodo illustrated children´s books, designed greeting cards for Raphael Tuck & Sons and worked for Paris House London. Post war, she drew still lives, landscapes and nude studies. In addition, she completed a range of tapestries according to her own design.

Dodo´s work had almost faded into obscurity; its art historic significance was discovered in the autumn of 2009 by Dr. Renate Krümmer, art collector and art dealer. In co-operation with Dodo´s estate and Krümmer, Dr. Adelheid Rasche from the National Museums of Berlin, curated the first monographic exhibition Dodo (1907-1998) - A Life in Pictures.