ARTISTS / Modern art
Max Ackermann

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Max Ackermann
Max Ackermann painting at an easel on Lake Constance. Photo: private
1887born in Berlin
1906-07student of Henry van de Velde and at the arts and crafts seminar in Weimar
1908-09Studies at the Dresden Academy of Art with Richard Müller
1909Studies at the Munich Art Academy with Franz von Stuck
1912Moves to Stuttgart; studies at the Stuttgart Art Academy with Richard Pötzelberger; meets Adolf Hölzel and studies his theories
1921Establishment of a "training workshop for new art" in Stuttgart
1924first solo exhibition at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart
1936ban on teaching, moves to the Höri peninsula; creative inspiration from the Lake Constance landscape
1948Exhibition in Paris at the "3ème Salon des Réalités Nouvelles"
1950Ströher Prize for non-objective art
1953Seminar on painting and architecture with Hugo Häring and Kurt Leonhard
1956Solo exhibition at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
1957Honorary award of the title of professor; return to Stuttgart
1964Guest of honor at the Villa Massimo, Rome
1975Died in Unterlengenhardt/Bad Liebenzell
Max Ackermann is one of the most prominent co-founders of object-free painting after the Second World War. Under the formative influence of Adolf Hölzel at the Stuttgart Academy, Ackermann acknowledges the primacy of composition over construction, and of metaphysical allegory over concrete likeness. He progressed from his figurative beginnings, which lasted into the 1930s, to increasingly free abstractions over the course of a decade, so that by the 1940s completely non-objective compositions emerged as compelling pictorial inventions. Among the artists who were "disengaged" by the Nazi regime because of their non-conformist view of art, Max Ackermann is one of the few whose creative power was able to bridge the gap from the 19th to the end of the 20th century unbroken over seven decades.

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