(Riga 1879 - 1970 Stuttgart)
Ida Kerkovius was born on August 31, 1879 in Riga, Latvia.
She spent her childhood and youth in the Baltic States and attended a private school in Riga. After graduating from college, she moved to Berlin. Fascinated by an exhibition of a Hölzel student, in 1902 she decided to continue her studies in Dachau near Munich, where the German painter and art historian Adolf Hölzel had founded a private painting school. In 1908 she moved to Stuttgart and studied at the local art academy, becoming a master student of Hölzel. Later she joined his circle, which included representatives of Stuttgart Modernism such as Oskar Schlemmer, Max Ackermann, Richard Adolf Fleischmann and Willi Baumeister.
In 1920 she went to the Bauhaus in Weimar. There she met the Swiss painter and important art historian Johannes Itten. Ida Kerkovius became a student of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus.
In 1933 Ida Kerkovius and her works were defamed as "degenerate". The artist was banned from exhibiting her work. She retreated to Stuttgart and continued to work there as a painter and tapestry weaver. Despite the strong influences of Adolf Hölzel, Ida Kerkovius found her own pictorial language. From Hölzel she adopted the bright colors and the two-dimensional style of composition in order to achieve the greatest possible pictorial harmony.
After the war, her works became known to a wider public. She gained a reputation as an important representative of German Classical Modernism. Her motifs included still lifes of flowers, figures and landscapes, which she executed with a cubist pictorial character and expressive coloring. From 1950 onwards she traveled frequently, to the south of France, Lake Garda and Ischia. In 1954 she was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit First Class and her work was honored with numerous large exhibitions.
In 1958 she was appointed professor, honorary member of the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and honorary board member of the German Artists' Association.
Ida Kerkovius died on June 7, 1970 in Stuttgart.