Search the Collections

Lyonel Feininger
Nationality: 
american
Gender: 
Male
Birth Date: 
1871
Death Date: 
1956
PT, ET. W.C. Lyonel Feininger was born in 1871. He traveled to Hamburg, Germany in 1887, originally to study music but quickly turned to art, studying at the Berlin Academy. Feininger was a Cubist painter who depicted modern life and architecture such as cathedrals, factories and harbors. He infused his subjects with emotional color, which was meant to be evocative. Feininger worked as an illustrator, cartoonist and also crated children’s books. In 1919, Feininger was invited to join the faculty of the Bauhaus, where he taught until Hitler shut it down in 1933. A few of his paintings were confiscated by the Nazis and shown at the “Degenerate Art Show” in Munich, 1937. Feininger was part of “The Blue Four”, along with Kandinsky, Klee and Von Jawensky. His work added dimensions in space though the use of light. Feininger successfully fused Cubism with Expressionism. He died in 1956. Biography from AskART: An abstract modernist, Lyonel Feininger was part of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany in 1919 along with Walter Gropius. He stayed there for the next six years and completed a number of abstract architectural works. In 1921, he had a joint exhibition with Paul Klee at the Weimar Museum. With Cubist style and evocative color, he depicted modern life, especially factories, bridges, ships, harbors, and buildings. Feininger was born in the United States, but moved to Germany in 1887 to study music. He became an accomplished pianist and composed fugues, which reflected his art that explored interrelationships, synchronization, and overlapping in the building of an overall sense of order. However, his main interest was art, and he remained in Germany until 1936, initially working as an illustrator of children's books and cartoonist for several German periodicals. From 1906 to 1908, he lived in Paris, and during this time he focused on his painting, encouraged by his friendships with Jules Pascin and Robert Delaunay. In 1919, he was invited to join the faculty of the Bauhaus and remained there until Hitler closed the school in 1933. During those years, he formed the group including Kandinsky and Klee known as the "Blue Four" and they exhibited in New York City and Germany. After he left Germany in the mid 1930s, several of his paintings that had been confiscated were shown in the Nazi government exhibition of "Degenerate Art" held in Munich in 1937. During that same period, the summers of 1936 and 1937, Feininger spent time teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California. Two sons, Andreas and Theodore Lux, became artists. Source: Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art" Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Artists" Edan Hughes, "Artists in California"