AUGUST MACKE: THE AVANT-GARDE OF GERMAN EXPRESSIOINSM

Image Courtesy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Macke

Translating the relation of mankind and nature into harmonious symphonies of paradise-like imagery, the unique and luminous paintings of the German painter August Macke is considered to be one of Expressionism's most significant achievements. Celebrated worldwide as one of the most important artist of the Classic Modern era, August Macke was born on January 3, 1887, in Meschede, Westphalia, Germany. The short-lived painter Macke was one of the founders of the German Expressionist group ‘Der Blaue Reiter' (The Blue Rider). 

Macke spent most of his childhood in Cologne where he educated at the Kreuzgymnasium (1897-1900). From 1903-1904 he studied at the Düsseldorf Academy and simultaneously attended some evening classes  under Fritz Helmut Ehmke where he was encouraged to experiment with a number of painting and printmaking techniques. At 16, he met a his future wife,  Elizabeth Gerhardt, whose family helped financed his travels and Macke went on trips to Italy, Holland and Belgium. Form 1907 to 1912, Macke frequently made trips to Paris and deeply influenced by the works of the impressionists painters.

Macke formed his style within the mode of French Impressionism and Post-impressionism and later went through a Fauve period. He integrated various artistic elements of the avant-garde into a very personal style and used brighter and less naturalistic colors applied in broad brush strokes. After meeting the young Expressionist painter Franz Marc in Munich, he developed a more abstract and colorful style with him.

In a short period he produced a large oeuvre and developed a signature style of serene painting that were the mixture of Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and Orphism. His painting demonstrated a kind of calm and order that his style named as “gentle Expressionism”. His paintings can be found in some of the best art museums in Europe and provincial galleries across Germany.

One of the most important participant in epochal art events as “International Sonderbund Exhibition” in Cologne or the “First German Autumn Salon” in Berlin, August Macke's career was very short as he was killed in the second month of the First World War at the front in Champagne, France, on 26 September 1914.


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