In this 4th instalment of my investigation into Expressionism I will be concentrating on the Blaue Reiter (Blue rider ) group of Kandinsky , Klee , Marc and Macke. In 1913 the Die Brucke group had collapsed and they effectively merged at the Neuwe Kunsterveneing Festival.
” The two Exhibitions were organised by the editors of the Blaue Reiter , that is Kandinsky and Marc”. .
” The Brucke and the Neue Kunstlervereinigung shared the aim of attracting the revolutionary and formatting elements to themselves , those whose works were born of inner necessity . What united the two groups was thus not a formal principle , not a question of style but an affinity of purpose”. .
Dieter Dube now considers how Kandinsky was searching for a pure road to Abstraction.
” Elemental forces grew in strength in the numerous landscapes reinforced by Kandinsky’s encounter with Bavarian folk art which revived his memories of Russian Folk lore. The pictures are dominated by a strong combination of Red , yellow blue and green. Forms are described summarily by means of planes , dots or short strokes”. .
” The speed with which Kandinsky now pressed forward to produce results remote from any subject even in Landscape is illustrated by a picture of 1910 Mountain landscape with Church. The motif is only a pre text. a consistent rhythm is imposed on the natural forms which are completely subordinated to the picture as a whole”. .
Kandinsky was clear now how he wanted his Oeuvre to develop and that was complete abstraction.
” Kandinsky was now in complete control of his means. The colours lie as if on a uniform surface and it is only in the variation of the inner weight of the colours that different picture planes and spheres are evoked”. .
” The weights are so distributed that no architectonic centre is created. In this way Kandinsky avoided the ornamental. it was now possible to erase all ciophers of natural objects from his paintings”. .
Franz Marc another artist who was striving towards an abstract palette and would have achieved more if he hadn’t been cut down during the First Imperialist war.
” These exemplars were of the greatest value to Marc. He knew that Kandinsky and his circle were allies , sharing the aim of his artistic endeavour to assert their spirit in art”. .
” It was Macke who deliberately drew Marc’s attention to the Independent expressive power of colour. Macke made him even more conscious of the dichotomy between large scale conception and abstract tendency of his forms and the naturalism of his colouring”. .
Macke and Marc were very close friends and met up together and both perished in the First world war. They travelled to Paris together and met Robert Delauney.
” In the autumn of 1912 Marc and Macke went to Paris together and visited Delauney who had taken part in the two Blaue Reiter Exhibitions”. .
” August Macke experimented with pure colours and seized every opportunity of adding to his knowledge and skill. In the autumn of 1907 he went to berlin to spend 6 months as the pupil of Corinth. In the summer of 1908 he returned to Paris where he was most struck by Cezanne , Seurat and Gaugin”. .
Macke was continually travelling to learn about the latest artistic developments amongst the Post Impressionism of Seurat , Signac and Van Gogh.
” He went to Paris again in 1909 , immediately after this he went to the Tegernee a lake in Northern Bavaria”. .
Dieter Dube now comes onto to discuss the great Swiss revolutionary abstract artist Paul Klee who used musical tones to develop a harmonious blend of colour and shape organised thematically using a very precise knowledge of form and perception to produce some of the most brilliant depictions of Abstract art way ahead of his time.
” Paul Klee became friendly with Kandinsky in the summer of 1911 and was drawn into the Blaue reiter circle but his approach was cautious and hesitant. Klee had been settled in Munich since 1906 and had first arrived there to study painting as early as 1898″. .
Klee took a great interest in other exponents of abstraction and future developments of Expressionist art like Ensor and Munch.
” The major discoveries for him ( Klee) were Ensor , Munch Cezanne and Van Gogh”. .
” The way to style know thyself Klee soon came to understand what was the essence of the problem , the achievement of harmony between the inner and the external”. .
Klee who took part in the 2nd Blaue Reiter Exhibition now became a very confident artist who later with Kandinsky would teach art at the Bahaus until it was closed down by the Nazis.
” Klee took part in the 2nd Blaue Reiter Exhibition. This acquaintance with Kandinsky and Marc confirmed him in his aim of progressing from proto types to archetypes of apprehending Art as a simple creation. Klee was drawn to the problem of colour someday I must be able to improvise the colour keyboards of adjacent pots of paint”. .
Klee experienced the revolution in colour when he went on a visit to Tunisia with Franz Marc in 1914.
” The great revelation of colour as independent form of expression a medium that he could and must use himself came in April 1914 on his visit to Tunisia with Marc. the unity of colour and form , the synthesis of architectural constructions and pictorial constructions happened effortlessly under the Tunisian skies”. .
” Although Klee did not play a leading role in the Blaue Reiter , he understood and approved the group’s common aim the search for a means of expression for the world of inner experience”. .
This concludes the fourth part of my instalment into the Blaue Reiter circle of Kandinsky , Klee Marc and Macke. In the final part I will concentrate on Wassily Kandinsky the inspiration and driving force of Symbolism and subjective Idealism in Art.
- EXPRESSIONISM. WOLF DIETER-DUBE: PG.102