Eye PleasuresColorful paintings of the German Blaue Reiter

Dear ArtTalkers!

Recently on a trip to Munich, I made time to visit the amazing collection at the Lenbachhaus. It was such a breath of visual gorgeousness!

Have a look and enjoy some snapshots of great art by phenomenal artists who painted more than 100 years ago. I’ve included a short text with some background information.

Hope to see many of you on July 4th for the ArtTalk on some gutsy American artists!

www.art-talks.de to sign up

Artful wishes,

Blaue Reiter—How the short movement began and why!

In December 1911 Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc founded the artist association “Der Blaue Reiter” in Munich. The name was invented by Kandinsky and Marc and is derived from Kandinsky’s 1903 work of the same name. This picture depicts a riding hero through an autumn landscape, see below The same picture is used for the title illustration of Marc and Kandinsky’s Almanac, “Die Blauen Reiter” from 1912. In this writing several texts and works of the artists “Der Blaue Reiter” are represented. This almanac becomes one of the most important manifestos of modern European art.

The aim of “The Blue Rider” is to break with the old painting traditions of the academies, to create a platform for a “new art” and to create new forms of artistic expression. The association claimed equal rights for different art forms and thus establishes contacts with artists from other fields: for example, dancers, composers and stage designers.

Interest in medieval and primitive art

The artists of the “Blaue Reiter” are jointly interested in medieval and primitive art, as well as in contemporary art movements: Fauvism and Cubism. The members saw themselves as expressionists and many of their works are more abstract than, for example, the works of the “Brücke” artists. The “Blaue Reiter” (Blue Riders) strove to make the image free or independent of the subject matter. We still thank Kandinsky today for initialing and developing the artistic freedom and theory behind abstract art.

Other important members of “The Blue Rider” are Gabriele Münter (1877-1962), Paul Klee, August Macke (1887-1914), Alfred Kubin (1877-1959), Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941) and Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938). The association consists mainly of German and Russian painters. The artists of the “Blaue Reiter” strive and work on their own form of expression, which goes beyond the usual ideas of artistic expression. Kandinsky and Marc were members of the “Neue Künstlervereinigung München” (NKVM) before the foundation of the “Blaue Reiter”. There they met with little understanding for their abstract works, which is why they unified and began the collective “Der Blaue Reiter” movement.

Wassily Kandinsky, The Blue Rider, 1903
Wassily Kandinsky, The Blue Rider, 1903

“The Blue Rider” organizes only two exhibitions! At the first exhibition, in December 1911, in the “Modern Gallery Thannhauser”, they show a total of 49 of their works. In addition to their own works, there are also works by painters such as Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay (1885-1941), Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) and some “Brücke” artists. At the second exhibition, in February/March 1912, in the “Münchner Buch- und Kunsthandlung Hans Goltz”, a total of 30 artists exhibited around 350 works. These exhibitions were followed by tours in other cities.

With the beginning of the First World War in 1914, “Der Blaue Reiter” dissolved. What a shame

Article is translated from the kunst-zeiten.de