Willi Sitte

  • Born 1921 in Chrastava, Czechoslovakia
  • Died 2013 in Halle, Germany

Willi Sitte worked in a Socialist Realist style with clear compositions and themes of the working class. In his work he always aimed to be understood by a wide audience. Sitte first studied art at the Kunstschule des nordböhmischen Gewerbemuseums (North-Bohemian Museum of Applied Arts) in Reichenberg (Liverec), from 1936 to 1939. He then transferred to the Hermann-Göring-Meisterschule (Hermann-Göring Master School) in Kroneburg (Eifel), until he was expelled and sent to military service in the Soviet Union and Italy in the early 1940s. In 1944 Sitte managed to contact the Italian resistance and deserted. In Italy he traveled to Vicenza, Venice, and Milan, attending classes at the Accademia di Brera (Academy of Brera). His first solo show was at the Gallery Dedalo in Milan in 1946. After a short trip to his home town, Chrastava, he moved to Halle in 1947 and became a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED). There, he exhibited his work with the artists’ association Die Fähre (The Ferry) and in the Zweite Deutsche Kunstausstellung (Second German Art Exhibition) in Dresden. His life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was marked by several prizes and honors as well as nominations to important committees and functions.