August Macke
Overview
 
August Macke was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter was a group of artists from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München in Munich, Germany. The group was founded by a number of Russian emigrants, including Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and native German artists, such as Franz Marc, August Macke and...

 (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. Like a true artist of his time, Macke knew how to integrate into his painting the elements of the avant-garde which most interested him.
August Macke was born in Meschede
Meschede
Meschede is a town in the Hochsauerland district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the district Hochsauerlandkreis.-Geography:Meschede is situated in the Ruhr valley, near to the Hennesee, south of the nature-park Arnsberger Wald...

, Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

.
Encyclopedia
August Macke was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter was a group of artists from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München in Munich, Germany. The group was founded by a number of Russian emigrants, including Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and native German artists, such as Franz Marc, August Macke and...

 (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. Like a true artist of his time, Macke knew how to integrate into his painting the elements of the avant-garde which most interested him.

Life and work

August Macke was born in Meschede
Meschede
Meschede is a town in the Hochsauerland district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the district Hochsauerlandkreis.-Geography:Meschede is situated in the Ruhr valley, near to the Hennesee, south of the nature-park Arnsberger Wald...

, Westphalia
Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

. His father, August Friedrich Hermann Macke (1845–1904), was a building contractor and his mother, Maria Florentine, née Adolph, (1848–1922), came from a farming family in Westphalia's Sauerland
Sauerland
The Sauerland is a rural, hilly area spreading across most of the south-eastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, in parts heavily forested and, apart from the major valleys, sparsely inhabited...

 region. The family lived at Brüsseler Strasse until August was 13. He then lived most of his creative life in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, with the exception of a few periods spent at Lake Thun
Lake Thun
Lake Thun is an Alpine lake in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. It took its name from the city of Thun, on its northern shore.Lake Thun's approximately 2,500 km² large catchment area frequently causes local flooding after heavy rainfalls...

 in Switzerland and various trips to Paris, Italy, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

. In Paris, where he traveled for the first time in 1907, Macke saw the work of the Impressionists
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

, and shortly after he went to Berlin and spent a few months in Lovis Corinth
Lovis Corinth
Lovis Corinth was a German painter and printmaker whose mature work realized a synthesis of impressionism and expressionism....

's studio. His style was formed within the mode of French Impressionism and Post-impressionism
Post-Impressionism
Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet. Fry used the term when he organized the 1910 exhibition Manet and Post-Impressionism...

 and later went through a Fauve
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

 period. In 1909 he married Elisabeth Gerhardt. In 1910, through his friendship with Franz Marc
Franz Marc
Franz Marc was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement...

, Macke met Kandinsky and for a while shared the non-objective aesthetic and the mystical and symbolic interests of Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter was a group of artists from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München in Munich, Germany. The group was founded by a number of Russian emigrants, including Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and native German artists, such as Franz Marc, August Macke and...

.

Macke's meeting with Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee...

 in Paris in 1912 was to be a sort of revelation for him. Delaunay's chromatic Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, which Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

 had called Orphism
Orphism (art)
Orphism or Orphic Cubism , the term coined by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, was a little known art movement during the time of Cubism that focused on pure abstraction and bright colors influenced by Fauvism and the dye chemist Eugène Chevreul...

, influenced Macke's art from that point onwards. His Shops Windows can be considered a personal interpretation of Delaunay's Windows, combined with the simultaneity of images found in Italian Futurism
Futurism (art)
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city...

. The exotic atmosphere of Tunisia, where Macke traveled in 1914 with Paul Klee
Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

 and Louis Moilliet
Louis Moilliet
Louis Moilliet was an artist from Switzerland who was noted as a painter and stained glass designer. He was lifelong friends with fellow artists Paul Klee and August Macke, spending time painting and traveling with them in Tunisia 1914 and introducing Klee into the group Der Blaue Reiter earlier...

 was fundamental for the creation of the luminist approach of his final period, during which he produced a series of works now considered masterpieces. August Macke's oeuvre can be considered as Expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

 (in its original German flourishing
German Expressionism
German Expressionism refers to a number of related creative movements beginning in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin, during the 1920s...

 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
Champagne, France
Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known for the sparkling white wine that bears its name.Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area...

 in September 1914, the second month of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. His final painting, Farewell, depicts the mood of gloom that settled after the outbreak of war.

The August Macke Prize

The August Macke Prize
August Macke Prize
The August Macke Prize, named after the painter August Macke , was given the first time in 1959 by the districts Arnsberg, Brilon , Meschede and Olpe in the region of the Hochsauerland, Germany....

, was given the first time in 1959 by the districts Arnsberg, Brilon, Olpe and Meschede
Meschede
Meschede is a town in the Hochsauerland district, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the district Hochsauerlandkreis.-Geography:Meschede is situated in the Ruhr valley, near to the Hennesee, south of the nature-park Arnsberger Wald...

, town of birth of August Macke in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

August-Macke-Haus

The August-Macke-Haus
August-Macke-Haus
August-Macke-Haus is a museum in Bonn, Germany opened in 1991, dedicated to the expressionist painter August Macke. It is located in Macke's former home, where he lived from 1911 to 1914...

 is a museum dedicated to August Macke founded in 1991. It is located in Macke's former home in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, where lived from 1911 to 1914.

External links

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