August Macke (German, 1887–1914) was an Expressionist painter, and leading member of Der Blaue Reiter. Born in Meschede, Westphalia, Macke studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the School of Applied Art from 1904 to 1906, making money as a stage designer. He continued his art studies under Lovis Corinth in Berlin.

Throughout the early 1900s, Macke traveled to Paris, Switzerland, and Munich. While in Munich, he attended an exhibition with works by Franz Marc, which deeply inspired the artist and marked the beginning of a close friendship. Through Marc, Macke was introduced to Wassily Kandinsky and Alexej von Jawlensky. Shortly afterward, Macke became a member of the artist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

In 1912, Macke returned to Paris, and met Robert Delaunay, and was inspired by his brand of chromatic Cubism, known as Orphism.

Early in his career, Macke’s style was impressionistic, but gradually incorporated an increasing number of expressionistic, Fauvist, and Futurist elements, undergoing a simplification of form. His brightly colored works included portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and nudes.

Macke died at the front in Champagne, France, at the age of 27.

Today, his works can be found in institutions around the world, including the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Harvard University Art Museum, and the Indiana University Art Museum. In addition, the August-Macke-Haus, a museum dedicated to the artist’s work was founded in Bonn in 1991.

Timeline

1887
Born in Meschede, Germany
1914
Died in Perthes-les-Hurlus in Champagne, France

Exhibitions

2011
Die unbekannte Sammlung - Klassiker der Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany