August Macke – Reproductions
“The most important thing for me is the direct observation of nature in its light filled existence….” August Macke
August Macke (1887-1914)
August Macke, a German Painter, was an important member of the famous German Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter. During his time German art flourished to new heights, the German Expressionist Movements were followed by avant-garde movements which defined European art during that particular era.
Macke was born in 1887 in Meschede, Germany. The family moved to Bonn in 1900 and Macke enrolled to study at the Realgymnasium.
There he met Elisabeth, whom he befriended and later married.
Macke had always been inspired by art from a young age. At first he drew inspiration from his father’s paintings and later on the collection of Japanese prints belonging to his friend Thuar’s father. In 1900 on his visit to Basel, Macke came across the paintings of Arnold Bocklin which made his interest grow further.
He studied at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art and The School of applied Art from the year 1904 to 1906. He then enrolled in the painting school of Lovis Corinth in Berlin. During this period, he supported himself by designing stages and costumes for the theater.
Macke’s Artistic Career
Bernhard Koehler financed Macke’s first trip to Paris, it was here where he met Lovis Corinth, although the time which he spent with Corinth contributed little to his artistic style. He was however much influenced by Franz Marc whom he met in 1910. He participated in the Der Blaue Reiter group with Wassily Kandinsky.
His association with the group didn’t mean that he took inspiration from any of the artists within the circle but, in fact, he developed an art style of his own which partook a bit from cubism along with impressionism. His portrayals of a simplistic life depicted by the paintings of serene every-day life were what he did best. His paintings depict a sort of tranquility which is rarely found in the German Expressionist paintings of his time.
Along with being a painter, Macke was a sculptor as well and he took an active part in two of the most famous exhibitions of his time. These included the Rhenish Expressionists in Bonn and the First German Fall Salon in Berlin.
He traveled to Tunis with fellow artists Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet. According to Paul Klee, this was one trip which inspired him to experiment with color forms and helped develop his perception of color. It was during this period that Macke painted some of his most famous paintings which bear a strong semblance to the Mediterranean light and the local colors of Tunis and North Africa.
His column-like figures are enhanced with balanced compositions and lively colors. His tranquil and placid paintings are in strong contrast with the more forceful visuals of his contemporaries.