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Morgan Falconer

(b Dinklage, Oldenburg, 1953).

German painter. He studied painting and experimental film at the University of Art, Berlin (1971–9). Middendorf came to prominence in the early 1980s along with a generation of young German Neo-Expressionists sometimes known as the Neue Wilden; he was particularly linked with those from Berlin, such as Rainer Fetting. While the painters associated with the German revival of painting often adopted a satirical tone, Middendorf’s work drew on some of the traditional preoccupations of expressionism; the changeable and dynamic character of human nature is a typical theme in his work. For some time in the early 1980s he lived in New York where he became known for images of contemporary urban life. The Street (1983; see 1984 exh. cat.) depicts the outline of a face hanging in a slate-grey sky at the end of a canyon of skyscrapers; it is typical of the romanticism and melancholy outlook of his work during this period. His street scenes were often compared to those of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, yet in many ways they are different: Middendorf’s are tempermentally more romantic, less critical, and it has often been remarked that his very quick, fluid handling, and his tendency to fix on single, simple motifs rather than complex scenes, represents a deliberately mannered revival of the style. Like many German painters of this period, he was influenced by the contemporary German punk music scene, and depicted it in the ...


Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, 1914; d Havana, 1984).

Cuban painter. He was a member of the Grupo de los Once, which introduced Abstract Expressionism into Cuba without great success, although he is difficult to categorize in any one school. He had no formal training and worked entirely in small formats with ink and watercolour, producing haunting images of flowers (e.g. ...


Hans Gerhard Hannesen

(b Dresden, Feb 8, 1876; d Worpswede, Nov 20, 1907).

German painter. She trained in Bremen in 1892 and subsequently studied in London. From 1894 to 1896 she took a teacher’s training course at her family’s insistence but then with their permission attended the Berlin Malerinnenschule, from 1896 to 1898. In 1897 she met members of the artists’ colony in Worpswede, near Bremen, and in the autumn of 1898 she moved there, believing that in this unsophisticated farming village she could more easily achieve her artistic objective of simplicity (see Worpswede colony). Her teacher was Fritz Mackensen, but her friendship with the painter Otto Modersohn (1865–1943) was more important to her artistic development. She soon, however, came to feel that further progress depended on fresh experience. On 31 December 1899 she left for Paris, where she attended the Académie Cola Rossi. In Paris she first saw paintings by Cézanne, which confirmed her own artistic aims.

In summer ...


Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, July 3, 1950).

Argentine painter. He was self-taught and came to prominence in the early 1980s as part of a current of Neo-expressionism and New Image painting that related to international developments emanating from Europe and the USA. He favoured schematic images presented as signs, their flatness counteracted only by the sensations of space induced by his use of colour and texture. He often incorporated written inscriptions into his pictures, as in a series entitled ...


Colin Rhodes

(b Soest, Westphalia, Jan 27, 1891; d Langemarck, Aug 12, 1917).

German painter. One of the youngest of the first-generation Expressionists, in 1908 he attended the school in Worpswede run by the German painter Georg Tappert (1880–1957). They became firm friends and Tappert provided the support and encouragement that Morgner needed after his return to Soest in 1910. Morgner’s earliest work was influenced by Jean-François Millet and the German Impressionists, but by 1910 he had discovered the work of van Gogh, whose late style he subjected to a radical, Expressionist transformation. Pictures from 1911 such as Brickworks, Blue Man with Trolley (Münster, Westfäl. Landesmus.) combine a continued interest in the subject of peasants at work in the landscape with stylized, decorative composition and an anti-naturalistic use of colour. Despite spending much of his time in the isolation of Soest, Morgner’s reputation was established early in modernist circles in Berlin and Munich. In 1911 he joined the Neue Sezession at Tappert’s suggestion, and in ...


Robert Saltonstall Mattison

(b Aberdeen, WA, Jan 24, 1915; d Princetown, MA, July 16, 1991).

American painter, printmaker, and editor. A major figure of the Abstract Expressionist generation (see Abstract Expressionism), in his mature work he encompassed both the expressive brushwork of action painting and the breadth of scale and saturated hues of colour field painting, often with a marked emphasis on European traditions of abstraction.

Motherwell was sent to school in the dry climate of central California to combat severe asthmatic attacks and developed a love for the broad spaces and bright colours that later emerged as essential characteristics of his abstract paintings. His later concern with themes of mortality can likewise be traced to his frail health as a child. From 1932 he studied literature, psychology, and philosophy at Stanford University, CA, and encountered in the poetry of the French Symbolists an expression of moods that dispensed with traditional narrative. He paid tribute to these writers in later paintings such as ...


Lucius Grisebach

(b Liebau, Silesia [now Libawka, Poland], Oct 16, 1874; d Breslau [now Wrocław, Poland], Sept 24, 1930).

German painter and printmaker. His mother was said to have been a gypsy, although this was never proved. He began his artistic training with an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1890 until 1894 in Görlitz, Silesia. From 1894 to 1896 he studied at the Kunstakademie in Dresden. He returned to Silesia, however, travelling occasionally, for example to Switzerland, Italy and Munich. Towards the end of 1908 he moved to Berlin, where he joined the Neue Sezession, an exhibiting group formed in 1910 in protest at the rejection of younger artists’ work by the Berliner Sezession (see Secession, §2), which had a conservative tendency. In this circle he met some of the painters of Brücke, Die and he became a member of the group in 1910.

As each artist moved from Dresden to Berlin, Mueller’s contact with Die Brücke intensified. In 1911 he worked in Berlin with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Pechstein. He travelled to Bohemia with Kirchner and spent the summer with Kirchner and Erich Heckel on the Baltic island of Fehmarn. After the early influences of Symbolism and Post-Impressionism, and in particular the art of Arnold Böcklin and Ludwig von Hofmann (...


Shulamith Behr

(b Berlin, Feb 19, 1877; d Murnau, Bavaria, May 19, 1962).

German painter. Her formal art education began in Düsseldorf in 1897 at the Malschule für Damen. While in the USA (1898–1900), Münter developed a proficiency in sketching casual poses with an economic use of line, for example Aunt Lou in Plainview (1899; Munich, Lenbachhaus). On returning to Germany she enrolled in 1901 at the Künstlerinnen-Verein in Munich. In 1902 she entered the recently established Phalanxschule, which closely followed the arts and crafts tradition of Jugendstil. Münter first encountered still-life painting in evening classes taught by the Director of the school, Vasily Kandinsky, and during the summers of 1902 and 1903 she attended courses in landscape painting under his guidance. During this period they became engaged, but they never married. From 1904 to 1908 they travelled extensively outside Germany, visiting Sèvres in 1906–7. Münter attempted larger landscape paintings that acquired greater atmospheric qualities as a result of her contact with French Impressionist painting (...


Barbara Lange

(b Krefeld, June 1, 1880; d Kalkar, Nov 26, 1940).

German painter. He began his artistic training in 1898 at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, attended the private school of Heinrich Knirr (1862–1944) in 1899 and in 1902 completed his studies by attending the class run by Leopold von Kalckreuth at the Königliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. From 1902 to 1905 he lived in the Belgian artists’ colony of Laethem-Saint-Martin. In works produced at the beginning of the century he concentrated on landscapes and religious subjects. His encounter with Vincent van Gogh’s work in 1905 was of decisive importance for the development of his painting. Self-portrait (1909; Krefeld, Kaiser Wilhelm Mus.) and Still-life with Flowers (1909; Düsseldorf, Kstmus.) both resemble the works van Gogh produced in the south of France. In the years Nauen spent in Berlin (1906–11), where he took part in exhibitions at the Secession and at Paul Cassirer’s Kunstsalon, he cultivated contacts with artists such as Max Beckmann, Erich Heckel, Emil Nolde and Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, relieving him from his over-dependence on van Gogh....


Karen Kurczynski

Term used to describe the return to figurative painting and sculpture in large-scale, aggressive and gestural works that gained international attention around 1980. Major international exhibitions such as A New Spirit in Painting (1981, London, RA) and Documenta 7 in 1982 in Kassel, Germany, signaled a return to painting and narrative after the dominance of conceptual art, performance, video, photography and other non-traditional media in the 1970s (even if Documenta 7 also included the latter trends). In the US context, it drew on the return to gestural painting exemplified in New Image painting, which favored naive or simplified imagery over realism and treated the figure as a sign or cipher (see New Image art). Neo-Expressionism emerged as an international tendency, including such artists as Baselitz [Kern], Georg, Clemente, Francesco, Kiefer, Anselm, Kirkeby, Per, Murray, Elizabeth and Schnabel, Julian, who produced bold, monumental, multimedia works that emphasized a painterly approach to the gesture. Neo-Expressionism was heavily criticized by political Postmodernist critics such as Benjamin Buchloh, Craig Owens and ...


Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....


David Anfam

(b New York, Jan 29, 1905; d New York, July 4, 1970).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. He was a major exponent of Abstract Expressionism whose reductive idiom employing large chromatic expanses exerted a considerable impact on abstract art after World War II. His writings and pronouncements also contributed to the accompanying theoretical debates during and after the 1960s about meaning in non-figurative expression.

After studies at the Art Students League, New York, in 1922 and 1929 Newman destroyed most of his basically realistic initial output and stopped painting by about 1939–40. He explained that the world historical crisis then had rendered traditional subject-matter and styles invalid, necessitating the search for a new, awe-inspiring content appropriate to the moment. A series of essays and catalogue introductions throughout the 1940s reiterated this aesthetic quest. Their polemical stance focused upon the need for a break with outworn European traditions (including such native continuations as American Scene painting), chaos as a wellspring of human creativity, and the irrelevance of beauty in times of terror. Instead, he resurrected the venerable concept of the Sublime for a metaphysical ‘art which through symbols will catch the basic truth of life which is its sense of tragedy’ (‘The Plasmic Image’, unpublished essay, ...


Jill Lloyd

(b Nolde, Schleswig-Holstein, Aug 7, 1867; d Seebüll, Schleswig-Holstein, April 13, 1956).

German painter, watercolourist, and printmaker. He was one of the strongest and most independent of the German Expressionists. Nolde belonged to the Dresden-based group known as Brücke, Die from 1906 to 1907. Primarily a colourist, he is best known for his paintings in oil, his watercolours, and his graphic work. His art was deeply influenced by the stark natural beauty of his north German homeland, and alongside numerous landscapes, seascapes, and flower paintings, Nolde also produced works with religious and imaginary subjects.

Nolde first trained as a wood-carver under Heinrich Sauermann (1842–1904) in Flensburg and worked as a designer in furniture factories in Munich, Karlsruhe, and Berlin. From 1892 to 1897 he taught industrial design at the Saint-Gallen crafts museum, during which time he also became known as a mountaineer. The commercial success he enjoyed with a series of postcard drawings depicting the Swiss mountains as characters from fables and fairy tales finally won him the freedom to become a full-time artist, as their sale guaranteed him an income for several years. Studying in Munich at the private school of ...


Finnish group of painters who first exhibited in November 1917. Though the two groups co-existed for some time, the November Group was effectively the successor to the Septem group, representing a nationalist Expressionist art in contrast to the international Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art of the latter. Its leader was Tyko Konstantin Sallinen, and other members included Marcus Collin (1882–1966), Alvar Cawén (1886–1935), Jalmari Ruokokoski (1886–1936) and William Lönnberg (1887–1949). The group exhibited between 1917 and 1924, though even before this, largely through the impact of Sallinen’s work, Expressionism had become established in Finnish art.

As the group’s leader, Sallinen was against propagating any specific aesthetic and there was consequently a fair diversity of styles, some members being influenced more by Cubism or the Septem style than Expressionism. Nevertheless, by the time the group was established, Sallinen had adopted an austere Expressionist style using dark colours and this became the dominant and most important style in the group. Most of the artists drew their subjects from specifically Finnish life and culture, characteristic works being Sallinen’s ...


Peter W. Guenther

Group of German artists named after the German Revolution of November 1918, founded in Berlin on 3 December 1918 and active until 1932. In the wake of World War I and the German Revolution, a number of Expressionist artists including Max Pechstein and César Klein invited all the ‘revolutionaries in spirit (Expressionists, Cubists, Futurists)’ to form an association of ‘radical creative artists’. Their intention was not to form an exhibition society but to influence and demand participation in all activities of importance to the arts and to artists: in architecture as a public affair; in the reorganization of art schools; in the restructuring of museums; in new exhibition spaces; and in new laws to protect the arts and artists. A hope for a new and better society, a tendency towards socialism and a belief that the arts would be able to change society formed the Expressionist basis for the association....


Francis V. O’Connor

(b Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Nov 23, 1883; d Mexico City, Sept 7, 1949).

Mexican painter and draughtsman. He was one of the three most important Mexican mural painters, and his expressionist style has been particularly influential among younger generations of international mural artists. He also produced a large body of caricatures and drawings, as well as easel works.

Orozco was born into a middle-class family, and his early education was not centred on art. He was awakened to it as a student in Mexico City during the early 1890s, when he encountered José Guadalupe Posada and his popular satirical prints. Orozco studied architecture at evening classes in the Academia de S Carlos, but from 1897 to 1904 he trained as an agronomist and cartographer. He lost his left hand and his hearing and sight were impaired in an explosion during his early adolescence; the resentments and realism caused by physical handicaps affected both his political and artistic thinking.

He entered the Academia formally in ...


Lucius Grisebach

(b Eckersbach, Zwickau, Dec 31, 1881; d West Berlin, June 19, 1955).

German painter and printmaker. He was apprenticed as a decorator in Zwickau from 1896 to 1900, when he moved to Dresden to enrol at the Kunstgewerbeschule, where he met the architect Wilhelm Kreis and the painter Otto Gussmann (1869–1926) and obtained decorative commissions. He continued his studies from 1902 until 1906 as Gussmann’s pupil at the Dresden Kunstakademie. Through Kreis, Pechstein was introduced to Erich Heckel in 1906 and was invited by him to join Brücke, Die, a group founded in the previous year that was quickly to become a major force in the rise of German Expressionism (see Expressionism §1). The founders of the group were all architecture students, leaving Pechstein as the only member to have received formal academic training as a painter. He remained closely involved with the group until 1910, drawing and painting in the studios of Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Dresden and also working communally with them ...


Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, 1926).

Cuban painter. She settled in Paris as a political exile in 1959, combining in her paintings the strong chromaticism of the Cobra painters with the calligraphic, automatic brushwork associated with Abstract Expressionism. She concentrated on the female figure, often shown singing, dancing or in some dramatic pose, for example She Has Left the Page...


Roger Avermaete

(b Antwerp, July 31, 1886; d Ostend, Jan 4, 1952).

Belgian painter, draughtsman and sculptor. After spending his early childhood years in Antwerp and in Burght, a village on the Escaut, he settled with his family in Ostend. There his father, Henri-Louis Permeke (1849–1912), also a painter, founded in October 1893 the Musée Communal d’Ostende, of which he was the first curator. Constant attended the Bruges Academy in 1903 and the Ghent Academy in 1904, where he studied under Jean Delvin (1853–1922) and met Albert Servaes and Fritz Van den Berghe. His contact with these artists, and with Gustave De Smet, whom he met through Van den Berghe, encouraged him c. 1909 to move with them to the artists’ colony of Laethem-Saint-Martin. There he was closely associated with the second group of Flemish Expressionists and met his future wife Marietje.

Mobilized in 1914, Permeke received serious leg wounds during the defence of Antwerp and was sent to recover in England, where he stayed until the end of the war. During this period, first at Stanton St Bernard, Wilts, then at Chardstock, Devon, and finally at Sidford, Devon, he painted his first major works, such as ...


Michael Spens

(b Berlin, April 30, 1869; d Berlin, June 14, 1936).

German architect, designer and teacher. He was the father-figure of the Expressionist group of the Deutscher Werkbund, his vision and practical genius representing a link between the English Arts and Crafts Movement and later stages of Jugendstil and the fervour of the emerging Modern Movement after World War I. Poelzig studied architecture (1889–94) at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin, under Carl Schäfer, a neo-Gothicist. After military service and a period in the Prussian Office of Works, he left Berlin in 1900 to take a teaching post in the Königliche Kunst- und Kunstgewerbeschule, Breslau (now Wrocław), becoming its director from 1903 to 1916. There he introduced workshop-based courses that influenced the later teaching policy of Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus. Poelzig’s early buildings included two houses, one at an exhibition of applied art (1904) in Breslau and his own house (1906) at Leerbeutel, near Breslau. Both are examples of the influence in Germany at that time of English Arts and Crafts houses. Rough-cast rendering divided into rectilinear panels by smooth bands characterized his own house and also appeared in his evangelical church (...