Artist
Gabriele Münter
German painter

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Gabriele Münter
German painter
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Birth Date

February 19, 1877

Death Date

May 19, 1962

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Contributor

Gabriele Münter was the member of the Blue Rider group that never got recognition for her work until much, much later because she was a woman.

It’s a tale as old as time. Woman has extraordinary talent. Woman hangs out with men of equal if not inferior talent. Woman gets outshone because of sexism. We all know many similar stories so now we have to go back and dig these women out of the hole that they were buried in and give them the recognition they deserve! Feminist art history at its best.

Münter was born in Berlin to wealthy, Protestant parents. She grew up taking piano lessons and soon showed interest in art. Usually women were discouraged from entering the arts, but her parents weren’t normal parents, they were cool parents and they let her attend Damen-Kunstschule (Ladies Art School in Dusseldorf). When she graduated, Münter went to visit her relative in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas. After that she would have attended the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, but they didn’t enroll women.

Instead she started school in 1902 at the Phalanx School, where she was taught by none other than Wassily Kandinsky. The two hit it off professionally and personally and started a love affair that would last over a decade. Around 1904, Kandinsky separated from his wife and he and Münter lived in sin together (unmarried)– a huge no-no at the time. The two of them started the Neue Künstlervereinigung or New Artists’ Association in 1909 but abandoned it for Der Blaue Reiter or the Blue Rider group in 1911. They were buddies with artists like Paul Klee, Auguste Macke, and Franz Marc. Personally, Münter was influenced by Van Gogh and Alexei von Jawlensky, who was known as the “Russian Matisse.” All was well until in 1914 when World War I broke out.

Münter and Kandinsky tried to move to Switzerland, but because Kandinsky was Russian he was considered an enemy. Their relationship was very much on the rocks when Kandinsky moved to Moscow and Münter moved to Stockholm. They met one more time in Stockholm and then never saw each other again. Two years later Kandinsky, at the age of 51, married a 24-year-old Russian girl. Münter was heartbroken and stopped making art for an entire decade. She traveled a lot though and eventually met a German art historian by the name of Johannes Eichner. He was the one who got her to paint again and was her partner until she died in 1962.

Sources

Sources

  1. "Gabriele Münter | German Artist." Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 7 Nov. 2018. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gabriele-Munter
  2. "Gabriele Munter: German Expressionist Painter." Visual-arts-cork.com. Web. 7 Nov. 2018. http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-artists/gabriele-munter.htm
  3. "Gabriele Münter | National Museum Of Women In The Arts." Nmwa.org. Web. 7 Nov. 2018. https://nmwa.org/explore/artist-profiles/gabriele-münter

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Gabriele Münter

Gabriele Münter (Berlin, 19 February 1877 – 19 May 1962) was a German expressionist painter who was at the forefront of the Munich avant-garde in the early 20th century. She studied and lived with the painter Wassily Kandinsky and was a founding member of the expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter.

Early life

Münter was born to upper middle-class parents in Berlin. Regardless of the times, her family supported her desires to become an artist. She began to draw as a child. As she was growing up, she had a private tutor. In 1897, at the age of twenty, Münter received artistic training in the Düsseldorf studio of artist Ernst Bosch and later at the Damenschule (Women's School) of Willy Platz.

By the time she was 21 years old, both of her parents had died and she was living at home with no occupation. In 1898, she decided to take a trip to America with her sister to visit extended family. They stayed in America for more than two years, mainly in the states of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri; six sketchbooks survive from Münter's period in America, depicting images of people, plants and landscapes. Both girls had inherited a large amount of money, allowing them to live freely and independently. Her childhood and early adulthood greatly impacted her future artistic career. She had a free and unrestricted life that was unconstrained by convention. Living in America and Europe gave Münter social exposure that many women did not have at the time. Münter studied woodcut techniques, sculpture, painting, and printmaking.

In 1901, she attended the beginners' classes of Maximilian Dasio at the Damenakademie (Women's Academy) of the Münchener Künstlerinnenverein (Munich Women Artists's Association). Münter then studied at the Phalanx School in Munich, an avant-garde institution founded by Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky. At the Phalanx School, Münter attended sculpture courses taught by Wilhelm Hüsgen. Münter studied outside the official art academies in Munich and Düsseldorf, as these were closed to women. At the Phalanx School, Münter was introduced to Post-Impressionism and the marking techniques of a palette knife and a brush. Her vivid colors and bold outlines were somewhat derived from Gauguin and the Fauves whom she admired. Along with this, Münter was inspired by Bavarian folk art, particularly the technique of reverse-glass painting (Hinterglasmalerei in German).

Soon after she began taking classes, Münter became professionally involved with Kandinsky. This eventually turned into a personal relationship that lasted for over a decade. Kandinsky was the first teacher that had actually taken Münter's painting abilities seriously. In the summer of 1902, Kandinsky invited Münter to join him at his summer painting classes just south of Munich in the Alps, and she accepted.

At first I experienced great difficulty with my brushwork – I mean with what the French call la touche de pinceau. So Kandinsky taught me how to achieve the effects that I wanted with a palette knife... My main difficulty was I could not paint fast enough. My pictures are all moments of life – I mean instantaneous visual experiences, generally noted very rapidly and spontaneously. When I begin to paint, it's like leaping suddenly into deep waters, and I never know beforehand whether I will be able to swim. Well, it was Kandinsky who taught me the technique of swimming. I mean that he has taught me to work fast enough, and with enough self-assurance, to be able to achieve this kind of rapid and spontaneous recording of moments of life.

— Gabriele Münter, Reinhold Heller, Gabriele Münter: The Years of Expressionism 1903–1920. New York: Presteverlag, 1997.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Gabriele Münter.