August Macke (3 January 1887 – 26 September 1914) was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). He lived during a particularly innovative time for German art which saw the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant-garde movements which were forming in the rest of Europe. Like a true artist of his time, Macke knew how to integrate into his painting the elements of the avant-garde which most interested him.
Macke's meeting with Robert Delaunay in Paris in 1912 was to be a sort of revelation for him. Delaunay's chromatic Cubism, which Apollinaire had called Orphism, influenced Macke's art from that point onwards. His Shops Windows can be considered a personal interpretation of Delaunay's Windows, combined with the simultaneity of images found in Italian Futurism. The exotic atmosphere of Tunisia, where Macke traveled in 1914 with Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet was fundamental for the creation of the luminist approach of his final period, during which he produced a series of works now considered masterpieces. August Macke's oeuvre can be considered as Expressionism (the movement that flourished in Germany between 1905 and 1925), and also as part of Fauvism. The paintings concentrate primarily on expressing feelings and moods rather than reproducing objective reality, usually distorting colour and form.
Macke's career was cut short by his early death at the front in Champagne in September 1914, the second month of World War I. His final painting, Farewell, depicts the mood of gloom that settled after the outbreak of war.
text from wikipedia (where else)
Lady in a green jacket (1913)
Girls Under Trees
Church in Kandern
Here is an extract from a letter Robert Delaunay wrote to August Macke...
"For me, every man distinguishes himself by his essence his personal movement, as opposed to that which is universal. That is what I found in your works that I saw this winter at Cologne. You are not in direct communication with nature, the only source of inspiration directed toward beauty.' Such communication affects representation in its most vital and critical aspect. This communication alone, by the comparison of the antagonisms, rivalries, movements which give birth to decisive moments, permits the evolution of the soul, whereby a man realizes himself on earth. It is impossible to be concerned with anything else in art."
read the whole thing