Gabriele Muenter (1877 - 1962)

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Gabriele Muenter's Geni Profile

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Nicknames: "Gabriele Münter"
Death: Died
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gabriele Muenter

  • Kandinsky’s and Münter’s professional and personal relationship lasted for about twelve years. (See below)

Gabriele Münter (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. Artists and writers associated with German Expressionism shared a rebellious attitude (influenced by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche) toward the materialism and mores of German imperial and bourgeois society. German Expressionistic art was an exegetic (and at times agonizing) reaction against the ambiguities and formalism of pre-World War I society. Its radical art and avant-garde mentality sought to end the alienation of painting from society.

She was a driven artist and was dedicated to the German Expressionist movement. She kept a journal and documented her journeys with a state-of-the-art camera. She was familiar with many of the more famous artists of the time; in one of her journals, she stated that she wanted to learn from the avant-garde artists in France. By 1907, Münter had filled several sketchbooks, over 450 pages. Münter loved Kandinsky and worked hard to bring him and his paintings to the public eye.

Kandinsky’s and Münter’s professional and personal relationship lasted for about twelve years. During this time their relationship affected Münter’s art. Kandinsky was married for fifteen years while he was in a relationship with Münter. They spent a great deal of time together traveling through Europe including Holland, Italy, and France, as well as North Africa.

It was during this time that they met Rousseau and Matisse. Münter and Kandinsky fell in love with the village of Murnau in southern Bavaria. Later on, Münter bought a house in this city and spent much of her life there. Münter and Kandinsky helped establish the Munich-based avant-garde group called the New Artists’ Association (Neue Künstlervereinigung). She contributed to a number of the most significant avant-garde exhibitions in Germany up till World War I.

In 1911 Münter, Kandinsky, and Franz Marc founded the expressionist group known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Within the group, artistic approaches and aims varied amongst artists; however, they shared a common desire to express spiritual truths through art. They championed modern art, the connection between visual art and music, the spiritual and symbolic associations of color and a spontaneous, intuitive approach to painting in its move toward abstraction.

Münter was part of a small subgroup of artists active in transforming late Impressionist, Neo-Impressionist, and Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau) painting into the more radical, non-naturalistic art now identified as Expressionism. Early on, Münter developed a great interest in landscapes. Münter's landscape paintings employ a radical Jugendstil simplicity and suggestive symbolism with softly muted colors, collapsed pictorial space and flattened forms.[3] She enjoyed exploring the world of children; using colorful prints of children and toys, Münter shows precision and simplicity of form in her rejection of symbolic content.

In the years to come, Kandinsky and Münter moved to neutral Switzerland during the war. But since Kandinsky was Russian, he was forced to move back to Moscow. During World War II, Münter hid Kandinsky's works and those from other artists from the Nazis. During Kandinsky’s time in Moscow, he divorced his first wife (his cousin, Anja Chimiakin), and instead of marrying Münter, he decided to marry another woman he had met in Russia. Münter never heard from Kandinsky again.

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Gabriele Muenter's Timeline

1877
February 19, 1877
1962
May 19, 1962
Age 85