Gabriele Münter

(Berlin 1877 - 1962 München)

The daughter of a businessman, Münter receives artistic training in Düsseldorf, then in Munich at the painting school operated by the local Women Artists’ Association and the “Phalanx” school. Wassily Kandinsky is her teacher in the still life and landscape painting classes; they strike up a friendship and, in 1903, get engaged. In 1904–05, the two artists travel extensively to destinations abroad, including Tunisia and the Netherlands; in 1906–07, they spend considerable time in Paris. Gabriele Münter produces a large part of her graphic oeuvre, primarily color woodcuts and linocuts, during this period; her paintings still show the influence of the Impressionists. In 1909, she buys a home for them in the Bavarian village of Murnau, where, over the next several years, she frequently hosts Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin. Under the influence of the Fauves and the Expressionists as well as traditional Bavarian reverse glass paintings, she forges a vigorously simplified creative idiom distinguished by luminous colors. Münter is a founding member of the “Munich New Artists’ Association” and contributes to the “Blue Rider” exhibitions. After the outbreak of the First World War, she and Kandinsky escape to Switzerland, where they part ways; Kandinsky moves back to Russia, while Münter lives in Stockholm and Copenhagen before returning to Germany in 1920.