August Macke (1887-1914) was a German painter whose harmonious and simple scenes of everyday life made a unique contribution to Expressionism.
August Macke was born in Meschede on January 3, 1887. He studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the School of Applied Arts from 1904 to 1906. During this time he belongs to the circle of people around the actress Luise Dumont and also makes stage designs for the Düsseldorf theatre. He studies at the painting school of Lovis Corinth in Berlin in 1907/08, traveling to Paris twice during this time. He meets the painter Louis Moilliet while staying in Switzerland for some time in 1909, afterwards he travels to Paris again where he meets Carl Hofer.
August Macke spends some time in Munich in 1909/10, and also on Lake Tegern. He becomes a good friend of Franc Marc, whose art he admires.
He also comes into contact with the "Neuen Künstlervereinigung München" (Munich New Artist's Association). A visit to an exhibition of Islamic art in 1910 inspires him to use oriental motifs in paintings and tapestry. As of 1911 he lives in Bonn. Macke is a member of the artist group "Der Blaue Reiter" (The Blue Rider) as of 1911/12 and shows works at both of their exhibitions.
Macke contributes to the "Sonderbund-exhibition" in Cologne in 1912 with both his work and also as one of the organizers.
He also goes on his fourth journey to Paris the same year, this time accompanied by his friend Franz Marc. They visit Robert Delaunay in his studio.
The Macke family moves to the Swiss town of Hilterfingen on Lake Thun in 1913. The important journey to Tunis with Louis Moilliet and Paul Klee takes place in 1914. Macke dies in World War I the same year.
Despite his short life, he leaves an extensive oeuvre of great strength and high quality. August Macke is regarded a master colorist, generating a colorful and cheerful world in his paintings and watercolors. In the beginning, August Macke's style was geared at Impressionism; however, he picks up elements of Futurism and Cubism. Due to the encounter with Robert Delaunay's orphistic style, Macke's pictures undergo a certain clarification and simplification of forms. Besides portraits, his oeuvre comprises landscapes, still life and nudes with recurring topics. He often depicts walkers under trees, in parks and in zoos, women in front of shop windows, boutiques and hat shops. August Macke is regarded as one of the most important German Expressionists.
August Macke dies on September 26, 1914 as a soldier near Perthe-les-Hurlus in the Champagne.