August MackeGerman, 1887–1914
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Painter, watercolorist, and decorative artist. After befriending Franz Marc and Vasily Kandinsky, exhibited at both Blaue Reiter exhibitions in 1912 and was included in the group's almanac of 1912, but thereafter distanced himself from Kandinsky's metaphysical approach to abstraction. Was instead increasingly influenced by Robert Delaunay's use of fractured rays of color, and applied it to his luminous scenes of elegant urban flaneurs window-shopping and strolling through parks. Also designed carpets and tapestries and made pottery and glass paintings. In April 1914 traveled with Paul Klee and Swiss painter Louis Moilliet to Tunisia, where he sketched and made a series of glowing watercolors. Mobilized during first week of war; killed in action seven weeks later.
A consummate colorist, made only a few known prints, including a lithograph from 1905, five linoleum cuts from 1907, and six linoleum cuts between 1912 and 1913, all in black-and-white, two of which were published in Der Sturm and one posthumously by the Bauhaus. By contrast, was an astonishingly prolific draftsman, creating some ten thousand drawings, sketches, and watercolors in his abbreviated career.
As a fallen veteran, German officers protested the confiscation of his works and his inclusion as a degenerate artist by the Nazis.
Heiderich, Ursula. August Macke: Aquarelle. Werkverzeichnis. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje, 1997.
Moeller, Magdalena M., ed. August Macke und die rheinischen Expressionisten: Werke aus dem Kunstmuseum Bonn und anderen Sammlungen. Exh. cat. Berlin: Brücke-Museum, 2002.
Simmons, Sherwin. "August Macke's Shoppers: Commodity Aesthetics, Modernist Autonomy and the Inexhaustible Will of Kitsch." In Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 63, no. 1 (2000): 47–88.