American painter who combined a Cubist style with his own distinctive use of form and color. His favorite subjects, huge buildings or tall-masted ships, are generally rendered in a sharp-edged transparent fashion, giving them a structure like that of crystals. Although recognizable, the subjects are generally incorporated into a flat abstract design. A dramatic use of light is also a distinguishing feature of Feininger's work.
- In 1887 he went to Germany to study music but, instead, proceeded to work at the School of Industrial Art in Hamburg and at the Academy in Berlin. He went to Paris in 1892, spent a year studying at the Colarossi Academy, and then returned to Berlin where, until 1906, he made a living by drawing illustrations for American and German magazines.
- In 1996 he went back to Paris where he started painting seriously. From 1908 he again lived in Berlin, being listed as an enemy alien by the Germans during World War I. He was a teacher at the famous Bauhaus school at Weimar and Dessau from 1919 until Hitler came to power in the early 1930's. From 1925 to 1934 he exhibited as one of the Blue Four, with his colleagues, Kandinsky, Klee, and Jawelensky. In 1936 he returned to the United States where he settled permanently. One of his most important commissions was a series of murals for the New York World's Fair in 1939. In 1950 his Houses by the River won second prize at the Carnegie Institute's International Exhibition of Paintings. Feininger is represented in such notable American collections as those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Born July 17, 1871
Died January 13, 1956