Wednesday, 23 May 2012

August Macke - part 1

August Macke (1887 – 1914) was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). He lived during a particularly innovative time for German art which saw the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant-garde movements which were forming in the rest of Europe.

August Robert Ludwig Macke was born in Meschede in Westphalia. His father, August Friedrich Hermann Macke, was a building contractor and his mother, Maria Florentine, née Adolph, came from a farming family in Westphalia's Sauerland region. The family lived at Brüsseler Straße until August was 13. He then lived most of his creative life in Bonn, with the exception of a few periods spent at Lake Thun in Switzerland and various trips to Paris, Italy, the Netherlands and Tunisia. In Paris, where he travelled for the first time in 1907, Macke saw the work of the Impressionists, and shortly after he went to Berlin and spent a few months in Lovis Corinth’s studio.


Lovis Corinth 1896 Self-Portrait 
oil on canvas 66 x 86 cm

His style was formed within the mode of French Impressionism and Post-impressionism and later went through a Fauve period. In 1909 he married Elisabeth Gerhardt.


August Macke and Elisabeth Gerhard in Bonn 1908

 In 1910, through his friendship with Franz Marc, Macke met Kandinsky and for a while shared the non-objective aesthetic and the mystical and symbolic interests of Der Blaue Reiter.

Macke's meeting with Robert Delaunay in Paris in 1912 was to be a sort of revelation for him. Delaunay's chromatic Cubism influenced Macke's art from that point onwards. His Large Bright Shop Window can be considered a personal interpretation of Delaunay's Windows, combined with the simultaneity of images found in Italian Futurism.


Robert Delaunay 1912 
Windows oil & wax on canvas 79.9 x 70 cm

1914 Large Bright Shop Window

The exotic atmosphere of Tunisia, where Macke travelled in 1914 with Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet as fundamental for the creation of the luminist approach of his final period, during which he produced a series of works now considered masterpieces.


Tunis 1914: August Macke on the donkey, Paul Klee in the background

August Macke's oeuvre can be considered as Expressionism (in its original German flourishing between 1905 and 1925), and also as part of Fauvism. The paintings concentrate primarily on expressing feelings and moods rather than reproducing objective reality, usually distorting colour and form.
Macke's career was cut short by his early death at the front in Champagne, France, in September 1914, the second month of World War I. His final painting, Farewell, depicts the mood of gloom that settled after the outbreak of war.


1914 Farewell 
oil on cardboard 101 x 130.5 cm

This is part 1 of a 4 - part post on the works of August Macke:


c1903 Mountain Landscape 
watercolour 24.6 x 35 cm

1907 Stroller 
oil on paper 35.5 x 21.5 cm

1907 Tree in the Corn Field 
oil on cardboard 30 x 35.8 cm

1908 Bei Hersel am Rhein 
oil on paper 16 x 32 cm

1908 Horse Market 
ink 12.2 x 20.8 cm

1908 The Rhine near Herzel 
40.5 x 50.5 cm

1909 Elizabeth at the Table 
55.9 x 40.6 cm

1909 Elizabeth Gerhardt, Sewing 
pastel 53 x 41.5 cm

1909 Portrait of the Artist's Wife with Hat 
oil on canvas 49.7 x 34 cm

1909 Portrait with Apples, the Artists Wife 
oil on canvas 66 x 59.6 cm

1909 Woman Embroidering in an Armchair, Portrait of the Artist's Wife 
oil on wood 55 x 45 cm

1910 Blond Girl with Doll 
oil on canvas 76 x 54 cm

1910 Nude with Coral Necklace 
oil on canvas 83 x 60 cm

1910 Portrait of Franz Marc 
oil on paper 50 x 39 cm

1910 Staudacher's House at Tegernsee 
oil on canvas 41.5 x 40.4 cm

1910 Still Life, Hyacinths, Carpet 
70 x 120 cm

1910 Tegernsee Landscape with Man Reading and Dog 
oil on canvas 60.5 x 55 cm

1911 Circus Picture II, Pair of Athletes, Clown and Monkey 
oil on canvas 54 x 39.5 cm

1911 Garden Picture 
oil on canvas 70 x 88 cm

1911 Indians

1911 Indians on Horseback 
oil on wood 44 x 60 cm

1911 Our Street in Grey 
oil on canvas

1911 St Mary's in the Snow 
oil on pasteboard 105 x 80 cm

1911 St. Mary's with Houses and Chimney, Bonn 
oil on canvas 66 x 57.4 cm

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this true post of my favourite artist. Always enjoying your blog
    Alfred

    ReplyDelete