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Albert Weisgerber (Weissgerber) (1878-1915)
Albert Weisgerber (born St. Ingbert, 1878) began an apprenticeship as a decorative painter in Frankfurt in 1894, but changed to the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich in the same year. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst from 1897 to 1901, first under Gabriel Hackl, then under Franz von Stuck. He began working for the journal Jugend in 1897. Weisgerber met Hans Purrmann, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Willi Geiger and Gino Finetti in Stuck’s painting class in 1898, the same year in which he founded “Sturmfackel,” an association with members such as Alfred Kubin, Rudolf Levy and Alfred Lorcher. Weisgerber made naturalistic studies which were exhibited in the artist’s first exhibition of the Munich Secession in the same year.
Weisgerber spent much of the year 1903 in St. Ingbert where he painted his famous beer garden pictures. They reflect his interest in French Impressionism. His work for the journal Jugend took him to Paris a couple of times during 1905 to 1907, where he met Henri Matisse. His painting style was strongly influenced by Cezanne, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Greco. A brighter palette is paralleled with a more two-dimensional effect and decorative style. His subjects during this period are mainly portraits as well as scenes from cafes and the theatre.
Weisgerber’s international breakthrough came in 1906 when the Stadtische Galerie Frankfurt and the Munich Pinakothek bought paintings. He traveled to Florence in 1909, where, influenced by Italian primitive art, he attempted a new beginning in his art. He was awarded the “Goldene Medaille” at the “X. Kunstausstellung” in Munich in the same year and had his first large one-man exhibition in Munich and Dresden in 1911. His well-known painting of the Munich Hofgarten was made in this year. Weisgerber changed his style of painting once again, however, turning towards a variety of religious subjects. Weisgerber had important exhibitions in 1912 at Paul Cassirer’s in Berlin, at the Kunsthaus Zurich and at the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. He was a founding member and the president of the Neue Munchener Secession in 1913. Weisgerber saw the first exhibition of the Neue Munchener Secession shortly before being drafted in the war in Autumn 1914. He was killed one year later in the war.
Information courtesy of Edward P. Bentley, researcher of Lansing, Michigan