Modern Artists Full List German Modern Artists

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German Modern Artists

Below are biographies and analysis of the achievements of German artists. We are adding more artists every week, so stay tuned as the most important artists in modern art are given proper coverage.

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German: 33 of 409 Total Artists
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German-American Textile Artist and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: June 12, 1899 - Berlin, Germany

Died: May 9, 1994 - Orange, CT, USA

German-American designer and textile artist Anni Albers was the wife of Josef Albers and an influential artist in her own right. Her work brought together good design and modern materials with the Bauhaus design ethos, where she studied and taught before moving to the United States.

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American Painter, Poet, Sculptor, Teacher, and Theoretician

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Geometric Abstraction

Born: March 19 1888 - Bottrop, Germany

Died: March 25 1976 - New Haven, CT, USA

Josef Albers was a German-born American painter and teacher. Celebrated as a geometric abstractionist and influential instructor at Black Mountain College, Albers directly influenced such artists as Rauschenberg, Twombly and Ray Johnson.

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French-German Sculptor, Painter, and Collagist

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism

Born: September 16, 1886 - Strasbourg, Alsace

Died: June 7, 1966 - Basel, Switzerland

Hans Arp (also known as Jean Arp) incorporated chance, randomness, and organic forms into his sculptures, paintings, and collages. He was involved with Zurich Dada, Surrealism, and the Abstraction-Creation movement.

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German-Swiss Performance Artist

Movement: Dada

Born: February 22, 1886 - Pirmasens, Germany

Died: September 14, 1927 - Sant'Abbondio, Switzerland

Hugo Ball was a German-born author, poet and artist who is credited with leading the Dada movement in Zurich. In 1916, Ball penned the first Dada Manifesto, and claimed that he coined the term 'Dada' by randomly choosing the word from the dictionary.

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German-American Sculptor, Photographer, Poet, and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Dada, Modern Photography, Performance Art, Readymade, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: July 12, 1874 - Swinemunde, Germany (now Świnoujście, Poland)

Died: December 14, 1927 - Paris, France

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the provocateur and essential catalyst for New York Dada movement, upended notions of what was considered art.

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German Painter, Printmaker, and Sculptor

Movement: Neo-Expressionism

Born: January 23, 1938 - Deutschbaselitz Germany

Georg Baselitz is a 20th-century German painter and sculptor, and was an originator of the Neo-Expressionist group "Neue Wilden," which focused on subject-based painting and the importance of color. Much of Baselitz's work is noted for its provocative subject matter, often sexual or overtly dark in nature.

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German Painter, Printmaker, and Draftsman

Movements and Styles: Expressionism, New Objectivity

Born: February 21, 1884 - Leipzig, Germany

Died: December 27, 1950 - New York, New York, USA

Max Beckmann was a German artist, writer, and philosopher commonly associated with the Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century. He abhorred the label 'Expressionism', but juxtaposed scenes from reality by layering figures, colors, and shadows.

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German Photographers

Movement: Conceptual Art

Born: Bernd: August 20th, 1931 - Siegen, Germany
           Hilla: September 2nd, 1934 - Potsdam, Germany

Died: Bernd: June 22nd, 2007 - Rostock, Germany
           Hilla: October 10th, 2015 - Dusseldorf, Germany

The artistic duo Bernd and Hilla Becher were German photographers that explored the cultural impact of industrial design and the need for preservation through photographic series, memorializing them in single-image, gridded gelatin silver prints.

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German Artist, Sculptor and Photographer

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism, Modern Photography

Born: March 13, 1902 - Katowice, German Empire (now Poland)

Died: February 24, 1975 - Paris, France

Hans Bellmer was a twentieth-century German avant-garde photographer and draughtsman, commonly associated with the Surrealism movement. Bellmer is best known for creating a series of pubescent female dolls in the 1930s, which were designed as a direct criticism of Nazi-controlled Germany and its idealization of the perfect human form. Bellmer eventually fled Germany for Paris and was embraced by Breton and the French Surrealists.

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German Sculptor and Performance Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Fluxus

Born: May 12, 1921 - Krefeld, Germany

Died: January 23, 1986 - Dusseldorf, Germany

Joseph Beuys was a German multi- and mixed-media artist best known for incorporating ideas of humanism, social philosophy and politics into his art. Beuys practiced everything from installation and performance art to traditional painting and "social sculpture." He was continually motivated by the belief of universal human creativity.

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German Painter and Printmaker

Movement: New Objectivity

Born: December 2, 1891 - Untermhaus, Germany

Died: July 25, 1969 - Singen, Germany

Otto Dix is one of modern painting's most savage satirists. After many artists had abandoned portraiture for abstraction in the 1910s, Dix injected sharp caricatures into his pictures of some of the leading lights of German society. His other narrative subjects are remembered for their indictment of corrupt and immoral life in the modern city.

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German Painter and Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Dada, Surrealism

Born: April 2, 1891 - Bruhl, Germany

Died: April 1, 1976 - Paris, France

Max Ernst was a German Dadaist and Surrealist whose paintings and collages combine dream-like realism, automatic techniques, and eerie subject matter.

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German-American Painter, Printmaker, Cartoonist, Photographer

Movements and Styles: Bauhaus, Cubism, Der Blaue Reiter, Modern Photography

Born: July 17, 1871 - New York City, NY

Died: January 13, 1956 - New York City, NY

Lyonel Feininger was a German-American painter and caricaturist associated with the Die Brucke and Der Blaue Rider groups. He painted in an original style reminiscent of Cubism and Futurism, but he is most famous for helping Walter Gropius build the Bauhaus school where Feininger taught until the school was closed down by the Nazis.

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German Draftsman and Painter

Movements and Styles: Dada, New Objectivity

Born: July 26, 1893 - Berlin, Germany

Died: July 6, 1959 - Berlin, Germany

George Grosz was a German Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit artist. He was enamored of America and highly critical of Weimar society. Grosz immigrated to the United States just as Hitler came to power and opened a private art school in Des Moines.

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German Photographer

Movements and Styles: Dusseldorf school, Modern Photography

Born: January 15, 1955 - Leipzig, Germany

Gursky's massive and distanced surveys of public spaces, landscapes, and structures contributed to new picture taking in contrast to the Minimalism and Conceptualism of the 1970s.

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German Conceptual and Multimedia Artist

Movements and Styles: Conceptual Art, Institutional Critique

Born: August 12th, 1936 - Cologne, Germany

Hans Haacke is a German-American Conceptual artist that cleverly and memorably critiques institutions and conventions of the art world.

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German Graphic Designer and Photomonteur

Movement: Dada

Born: June 19, 1891 - Berlin, Germany

Died: April 26, 1968 - Berlin, former East Germany

John Heartfield was a German graphic designer and political activist, most renowned for creating a number of anti-Fascist propaganda photomontages. Heartfield is also noted for his contributions to the Dada movement, creating stage designs, book covers, and altogether merging politics and art.

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German Photomontage artist

Movement: Dada

Born: November 1, 1889 - Gotha, Germany

Died: May 31, 1978 - Berlin, Germany

Hannah Hoch was a German-born Dada artist. She and Raoul Hausmann were among the first artists to work in photomontage. Hoch is most famous for her works dating from the Weimar years, most notably 1919's 'Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany,' which critiqued Weimar Germany.

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German-American Painter and Theoretician

Movement: Abstract Expressionism

Born: March 21, 1880 - Weissenberg, Bavaria

Died: February 17, 1966 - New York City, NY

German-born American painter, art teacher and theorist. Hofmann matured as an artist in 1904-14 in Paris, where he met many of the greatest artists of that time. After he emigrated to America in the early 1930s he enjoyed a prominent career as a teacher, powerfully influencing many Abstract Expressionists with his understanding of European modernism.

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Russian Painter

Movements and Styles: Expressionism, Bauhaus, Der Blaue Reiter

Born: December 4, 1866 - Moscow, Russia

Died: December 13, 1944 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

A member of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter, and later a teacher at the Bauhaus, Kandinsky is best known for his pioneering breakthrough into expressive abstraction in 1913. His work prefigures that of the American Abstract Expressionists.

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German: 33 of 409 Total Artists

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