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 Fritz Faiss  (1905 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: California / Germany      Known for: avant-garde art, teaching, woodcuts

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Variation I, 1955; Untitled, 1955; Untitled, 1955 (3)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Fritz Faiss (1905-1981)

Born in the Black Forest of Germany, March 6, 1905, Fritz Faiss was a student of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky at the Bauhaus.  The Nazis declared him a "degenerate artist", and he was forbidden to paint, to exhibit, or to send his work out of Germany.

During World War II, he was a political prisoner in a Nazi forced labor camp.  After the war the American Military Government in Pforzheim sponsored an exhibition of his work.  He left behind a professorship at the University of Frankfurt-am-Main and came to the United States in 1951, and acquired citizenship in 1956.  He taught at the University of California Los Angeles and California State University Northridge. 

In 1961 the United States government asked him to lead a group of art educators through art schools in Germany.  In 1969, he married Janet Dee Wullner, museologist and artist, and the couple moved to Valencia Hills.  He retired in 1973 as Professor Emeritus.

In 1976 he suffered a massive stroke while he and his wife were teaching for the University of Hawaii.  Upon their return to California, Faiss began painting with his left hand.  He had numerous shows (including a retrospective at California State University Northridge) until his death on October 29, 1981.

His work is held by Janet Wullner-Faiss Cloak in Appleton, Wisconsin.  It has not been exhibited except for a few pieces at Lawrence University (Appleton), Bergstrom-Mahler Museum (Neenah, Wisconsin) and the Appleton Art Center.
A Retrospective was held at the Appleton Art Center, September 18-November 28, 2009.  Shortly thereafter the Art Center became The Trout Museum of Art.

Submitted June 2007 by Janet Wullner-Faiss, Appleton, Wisconsin

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