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 Auguste Robert Ludwig Macke  (1887 - 1914)

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Lived/Active: Germany/France      Known for: abstract figural painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

August Macke was born on January 3, 1887 in Meschede in the Ruhr, some fifty miles from Cologne, Germany. He was the son of a building contractor who sketched and collected but hadn't the knack of holding on to money. Macke did poorly in school; painting possessed him, he let everything else slide. That included art-school curricula; but his training did include a period of studying with Lovis Corinth. Between 1907 and 1912 he visited Paris several times and found himself at home with the ways of painting then in vogue there, particularly Fauvism. He learned what he needed from artists like Cézanne, Whistler, Monet and Matisse.

Macke came closer in spirit to French art than any other German painter of the time. He allied himself with the 1911 Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) Group and their circle - Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Robert Delaunay, but apart from a few experiments his work moved less toward abstraction than that of other members of the group. By the time Macke, who was twenty-seven and Paul Klee, thirty-five, spent a fortnight together in Tunis in 1914, it was the older artist who learned from the younger. Klee's name is better known because he lived.

From first (1906) to last (1914), the development of his art was dominated by his astonishing sensitivity to color. He was conscripted in 1914 and a month later he was killed in action.


Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Hugh Kenner in Art and Antiques, April 1990
The Oxford Dictionary of Art, Oxford University Press 1988, edited by Jan Chilvers, Harold Osborne and Dennis Farr


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