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tCampendonk 5266 Zwei Kopfe.jpg



After he studied under the Dutch artist Johan Thorn Prikker at the Krefeld 'Kunstgewerbeschule', Heinrich Campendonk followed Franz Marc's invitation to the Bavarian village of Sindelsdorf and moved there in 1911. At that time, Campendonk had already found the basic subject of his works: the depiction of harmony between man and beast, Creation, and the infinite circle of life and death. He produced paintings, watercolours, gouaches and his first woodcuts.


In Sindelsdorf, the artist met other members of the 'Blaue Reiter' group and participated in one of their exhibitions that very same year. Two years later, Campendonk also showed his work with the 'Blaue Reiter' at the 'Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon' at Herwarth Walden's gallery Der Sturm in Berlin. During this time, Campendonk's artwork was influenced by Marc, August Macke and Wassily Kandinsky. A stiff geometrical language was combined with colour in pure complementary contrasts to a dynamic, rhythmic language.


In 1916, the painter moved to Seeshaupt at the Starnberger See, from where he went on extensive travels. At that point, Campendonk's painting was marked by softly flowing forms, large calm areas of intensive light and a lyrical, often fairytale-like mood. He also produced works in glass painting.


In 1926, Campendonk was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. He gained acclaim as an artist from the mid-1920s, particularly through numerous glass windows he made for churches and public buildings (such as the Düsseldorf parliament building and the Paulskirche and the Essen Münster etc.).


When the Nazi regime came to power in 1933, he was among the many modernists condemned as degenerate artists and was prohibited from exhibiting. He then moved to The Netherlands, where he spent the rest of his life, working at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, first teaching Decorative Art, printmaking and stained glass then as the Academy Director.


He continued to work as a teacher and received numerous orders for glass windows in Germany and The Netherlands. In 1956, he was awarded the Quellinus Prize by the city of Amsterdam and made Knight of the Order 'De Nederlandse Leeuw'. Campendonk died in Amsterdam in 1957.

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