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Lyonel Feininger Biography


German-American printmaker, cartoonist, painter, musician and and photographer Lyonel Feininger was a leader of the Cubo-Expressionist movement and one of the founding members of the experimental Bauhaus school.

Born in 1956 in New York City, Feininger was known for using abstract art to depict utopian aspirations and new visions. He travelled to Germany aged 16 to learn more about his art, returning to a successful career as cartoonist and caricaturist in 1894. This career continued for two decades, with his work being featured in many magazines and newspapers in both America and Germany. However, his work was included in the Degenerate Art Show in 1937, which made him subject to censorship and surveillance in Germany, prompting him to return to America, where he both created art and taught the subject.

Aged 36, the focus of work turned to fine art and photography; producing a series of intimate photographs between 1928 and the 1950s. Feininger died aged 84 in his home of New York City in 1956. A retrospective of his work was held in 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. His painting ‘The Green Bridge’ was sold at a Christie’s auction in London for £2.42 million in 2001.

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