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Anna Rowland

(b Frankfurt am Main, July 11, 1893; d Sydney, Jan 7, 1965).

German painter, printmaker and teacher, active in England and Australia. From 1912 to 1914 he attended the progressive school run by Wilhelm von Debschitz in Munich and studied art history at Munich University. His training was then interrupted for four and a half years by military service. In 1919 he enrolled at Adolf Hölzel’s pioneering academy in Stuttgart. Hölzel communicated to his pupils, who also included Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer, his interest in abstract formal relationships and colour contrasts. At this time Hirschfeld-Mack is known to have been working in the style of the German Expressionists.

In October 1919, attracted by Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus Manifesto, Hirschfeld-Mack enrolled at the Weimar Bauhaus. After taking the Vorkurs devised by Itten, he enrolled in the printing workshop, where he soon emerged as one of the most important apprentices. He worked closely with the Form Master, Lyonel Feininger, helping to prepare Zwölf Holzschnitte von Lyonel Feininger...

Article

Vivian Endicott Barnett

[Vassily; Wassily] (Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, Dec 4, 1866; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Dec 13, 1944).

Russian painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist and theorist. A central figure in the development of 20th-century art and specifically in the transition from representational to abstract art, Kandinsky worked in a wide variety of media and was an important teacher and theoretician. He worked mainly outside Russia, but his Russian heritage continued to be an important factor in his development.

Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and from 1886 to 1893 studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow, where he wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourers’ wages. He married his cousin Anya Shemyakina in 1892 (divorced 1911). In 1896 Kandinsky decided to become an artist and went to Munich. There he studied from 1896 to 1898 at the art school of Anton Ažbe, where he met Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin, and then in 1900 at the Akademie with Franz von Stuck. The following year he was a co-founder of the ...

Article

Ann Temkin

(b Münchenbuchsee, nr Berne, Dec 18, 1879; d Muralto, nr Locarno, June 29, 1940).

Swiss painter, draughtsman, printmaker, teacher, and writer. Klee’s work forms a major contribution to the history of 20th-century art. He is associated most commonly with the Bauhaus school in Weimar and Dessau. He is regarded as a major theoretician among modern artists and as a master of humour and mystery. In much of his work, he aspired to achieve a naive and untutored quality, but his art is also among the most cerebral of any of the 20th century (e.g. Disturbance, 1934; Turin, Gal. A. Mod.). Klee’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in an art profoundly informed by structures and themes drawn from music, nature, and poetry.

Klee was brought up in Berne, where his father was a music teacher. As a boy, he displayed great talent both as a violinist and as a draughtsman. On leaving school he decided to study art in Munich, first with ...

Article

Martina Rudloff

(b Berlin, Feb 18, 1889; d Burgbrohl, nr Cologne, Nov 13, 1981).

German sculptor, potter, draughtsman and printmaker. He first sculpted animals while studying under Richard Scheibe (from 1907), and in 1910 modelled animals for the Schwarzburg Porcelain Factory. After World War I his interest in classicism gave way to the influence of Expressionism and of the Sturm artists, as part of a search for a new spirituality. This new style of work can be seen in Woman Suckling (gold-plated limewood relief, 1919; Bremen, Marcks-Haus). Walter Gropius, who founded the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919, asked Marcks to establish a ceramics workshop for the school in the nearby village of Dornburg. With his students he set out to create a Bauhaus ceramics ethic of simplicity and honesty of design as determined by the materials used and the function of the object. In stylistic terms he combined geometry with a local pottery tradition. He was also inspired by Lyonel Feininger to make woodcuts of rural genre themes....

Article

Freya Probst

(b Bremen, April 15, 1900; d Stuttgart, May 28, 1990).

German industrial designer and printmaker. He began his artistic training as an apprentice in the design office of a Bremen silverware factory (1914–18) and attended lessons in script and drawing at the local Kunstgewerbeschule (1916–19). A grant enabled him to continue his studies at the famous Zeichenakademie in Hanau (1919–22), where he received a varied training including silversmithing, engraving, design and modelling. The graphic works that he produced in 1920–23 were probably made during a short stay in Bremen and at the Worpswede artists’ colony; they are mostly woodcuts and engravings with religious themes, for example Death and the Virgin (woodcut, 1921; Bremen, Focke-Mus.), motifs from everyday life and the world of work. These are mostly in a brittle style, expressing themes of destruction, hunger, pain, suffering and death. By 1923 the themes became more optimistic and were depicted with a soft voluminosity.

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