August Macke (1887-1914) quickly ascended to notoriety, only to be killed at the tender age of 27 at the start of World War I. Despite his brief career, the artist left a remarkable oeuvre in his wake, his obsessions with color reflecting aspects of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Expressionism.
Through his engagement with these diverse schools of art, Macke assimilated disparate influences and approaches into a style entirely his own. Grouped with the Blaue Reiter movement, but eschewing the mysticism that often pervaded the works of its artists, Macke returned time and again to color-led interpretations of beauty, whether the kaleidoscopic watercolor Bright Women in front of the Hat Shop (1913), or the shimmering hues of Lady in a Green Jacket (1913). These colors reached their zenith in 1914 when Macke traveled with Klee and Moilliet to Tunis and became acquainted with North African light.
With leading examples from his vivid painterly world, this book introduces us to Macke’s short but influential career as a pioneering Expressionist. From cheerful scenes of parks, zoos, and promenades to his final major work, ominously titled Farewell (1914), we explore a remarkable talent for visual impact and an intense pursuit of the emotional possibilities of color.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions
About the Author
Anna Meseure, born in Hamme, Belgium, studied interior design at the NHIBS of the University of Antwerp, as well as art history, history and German philology at the University of Stuttgart. She received her doctorate in 1982 for a work on the history of the Antwerp stock exchange and 19th-century European stock-exchange architecture. From 1982 to 1990 she was an assistant at the Museum Ostwall in Dortmund, then she worked at the Deutsche Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt am Main until 2002. Meseure has published numerous works on art and architecture. Today she lives and works as a freelance art historian in Frankfurt am Main.