Germany • 1887−1914

August Make (German: August Robert Ludwig Macke; January 3, 1887, Meschede, Germany - September 26, 1914, Swain-Perth-les-Yurles, France). German expressionist painter, one of the leaders of the Blue Rider group.

Peculiarities of the work of the artist August Macke: Mack's style is ambiguous and difficult to fit into the framework of one current. During his short life he was influenced by Impressionism, Expressionism and Fauvism, which were transformed in his canvases into his own, individual manner. Matisse and other authors inspired Mack to a less realistic but more emotional approach to painting. This is facilitated by such technical techniques as the deliberate distortion of forms, the play of light and shade, and the use of bright exotic colors. However, instead of the expected symbolism in this way we see the manifestation of emotions and vivid impressions: joy and lightness. The artist adheres to "To the Blue Rider." - group, organized Kandinsky и Franz Marc. He also tries his hand at non-figurative painting, but, unlike many expressionist artists, always strives to portray personified heroes.

Famous paintings by the artist August Macke: "Embroiderer.", "Portrait of a Wife in a Hat", "Promenade.".

August Macke's father, Friedrich Hermann Macke, was a building contractor and amateur painter at the same time. His mother, Maria Florentin, came from a farming family. The boy's father not only painted, but also collected paintings and prints, impressions of which played a role in the future life of the avant-garde artist.

After the birth of his son the family settled in Cologne, where the boy was educated in the gymnasium. At the age of thirteen August moves with his family to Bonn, where he studies at the Realgymnasium and where he makes new friends. At 16, he meets Elisabeth, the sister of a friend of his, a manufacturer, whom he later marries in 1909: she becomes not just his sweetheart but also the best model for her husband, a painter.

To become one, Mack decides to leave the school: his father, although he was a connoisseur of art, does not support such an impractical decision. But his son insists, and in 1904 he drops out of the Realschule and becomes a student at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts.

Mac is completely devoted to his studies and painting. But he is categorically dissatisfied with the classical methods of teaching at the Academy, and eventually he abandons that institution as well. He is not interested in the dead copying of plaster casts, but in the living plasticity of people and animals, which he seeks to capture, capturing on paper. However, continuing to learn the craft is essential: Mack takes evening classes in painting.

Creating scenery for the dramatic theater began to bring income, and Mack can afford to travel: he discovers the world, visiting Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain. In 1907, the artist was first in Paris, where he became acquainted with the Impressionists and was imbued with their art. Then for several months Macke worked in the studio of Lovisa Corintha in Berlin.

The marriage in 1909 allowed Augustus Macke to think of no expenses: Elizabeth, his wife, was from a wealthy family, and she was given a good dowry. Two sons were born to the couple, after which the couple moved to live in a house on Tegernskoe Lake. Here the artist was able to work fruitfully.

The quiet family life was not a stumbling block for Maka's activity as an artist. He continued his exhibition activities and expanded his circle of acquaintances. Thanks to his association with Franz Marc, he met Vasily Kandinsky, who at that time was developing the idea of non-figurative painting. The result of this creative alliance was The Blue Rider, an association of expressionist artists. They held their first exhibitions in Munich. Constantly rotating among the authors-participants of non-figurative painting, Make also tried himself in this direction. But after a while he returned to his own style. In 1911, the artist's family again moved to Bonn.

Meeting with Robert Delaunay became a revelation for Macke, a new page. Delaunay painting, full of dynamics and rhythm, had a major influence on the work of the German artist. Guillaume Apollinaire called the principle of such painting "Orphism", but once again Mack chooses his own way, bypassing the framework - oriented, but not subordinate.

The next period of the artist's work symbolizes a new turn, which was provoked by a trip to exotic Tunisia in the company of Paul Klee и Louis Mouallier. During this period August Mack creates works that are considered masterpieces today. The colors and forms in his paintings are distorted, too contrasting, but at the expense of this implausibility the author conveys the strongest emotional intensity, feelings and mood. Everyday life and narrative do not convey what is intended, and therefore do not interest Maka.

The beginning of World War I symbolizes the fateful countdown in the artist's fate: he volunteered for the front. At the end of the first month, he was appointed company commander and awarded the Iron Cross.

In the second month of the war, on September 26, 1914, Auguste Macke died at the front in Champagne. He was 27 years old. His last painting was symbolically titled "Farewell.". The memory of her husband, his letters and works were carefully preserved by his wife Elizabeth Macke. She also published two books of memories of the artist.

Author: Ludmila Lebedeva

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