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Sold at Auction: Lyonel Feininger



(b New York City 1871; d New York 1956) American painter. Born in New York City, Lyonel Feninger moved to Berlin to study at the city’s Art Academy in 1887. Fascinated by the Cubists' technique of breaking up form, Feininger adapted their geometrical style while retaining the use of bright colours characteristic of his early work. In May 1911, Feininger spent two weeks in Paris where he discovered Cubism -- a style he had never encountered before, but which offered a pictorial solution to his own artistic inquiries and experimentation. The key event in the development of Feininger's art was the Salon des Indépendants held in Paris from April until June 1911, where he exhibited six of his paintings alongside works by artists such as Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay and Wassily Kandinsky as well as the Cubists who were displaying their paintings for the first time. The Cubists' concept of constructing a composition was very close to Feininger's passion for architecture, and enabled him to 'build' a picture piece by piece. What Feininger gained in Paris was new hope for his own endeavors. Feininger's experience as a graphic artist gave him a creative advantage when it came to rendering dimension in his painting, as he was extraordinarily capable of conveying spatial depth without being reliant upon gradations of colour or excessive details. (Credit: Sotheby’s, London, Impressionist and Modern Art Evening, June 19, 2006, Lot 35)
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