Franz MarcGerman, 1880–1916
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Painter, watercolorist, printmaker. Gave up studying theology and philosophy for painting in 1900. By 1910 discovered main artistic theme— animals—which he regarded as uncorrupted symbols of spiritual renewal. Rejected naturalistic use of color and sought cosmic unity of figure and landscape, matter and spirit. Met Kandinsky in December 1910, and with him organized first Blaue Reiter exhibition later that year and coedited its almanac of 1912. Linked Munich and Berlin Expressionist circles; included Brücke prints in 1912 Blaue Reiter exhibition of graphic arts and helped organize the First German Autumn Salon, an important exhibition surveying European modernism, at Galerie Der Sturm in 1913. After 1912 applied lessons of Cubist fracturing of space learned through Robert Delaunay's Orphism and Italian Futurism. Volunteered and immediately sent to front in August 1914. Enthusiasm for war, and its potential to renew European society, rocked by death of friend August Macke a month later. Was himself killed in action, in March 1916, at age thirty-six.
During short career made forty-six prints and some two hundred drawings and watercolors. Most of his twenty-three woodcuts, which supplanted lithography in 1911, printed by hand in small editions, although some published in Der Sturm; some also reprinted by his widow after his death.
Despite decorated war record, posthumously condemned as degenerate by Nazis, who removed 130 of his works from public collections.
Hoberg, Annegret, and Helmut Friedel, eds. Franz Marc: The Retrospective. Exh. cat. Munich: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus München und Kunstbau, 2005.
Hoberg, Annegret, and Isabelle Jansen. Franz Marc: Werkverzeichnis. Skizzenbücher und Druckgraphik. Vol. 3. Munich: C. H. Beck, forthcoming.
Lankheit, Klaus. Franz Marc: Katalog der Werke. Cologne: DuMont Schauberg, 1970.