August Macke


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(b Meschede, Westphalia, 3 Jan. 1887; d nr. Perthes-les-Hurlus, Champagne, 26 Sept. 1914).

German Expressionist painter. His training included a period studying with Corinth in Berlin. Between 1907 and 1912 he visited Paris several times and he came closer in spirit to French art than any other German painter of his time, evolving a personal synthesis of Impressionism, Fauvism, and Orphism (he met Robert Delaunay in 1912). His subjects were generally light-hearted, without any of the angst associated with other Expressionists, and although his colour was bright it was never strident; often he showed people enjoying themselves. In 1909–10 he met Kandinsky and Franz Marc in Munich and in 1911 he joined them in forming the Blaue Reiter, but apart from a few experiments his work moved less towards abstraction than that of other members of the group. Early in 1914 he made a trip with Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet to Tunisia, and the watercolours he did there are considered his finest achievements. He volunteered for the army soon after the outbreak of the First World War and was killed in action a few weeks later.

Subjects: Art.

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