Friday, July 18, 2014

Arty Farty Friday ~ Lyonel Feininger

 Lyonel Feininger, left,  and Mark Tobey
Lyonel Feininger (July 17, 1871 – January 13, 1956), German-American painter, born in New York to German-American parents who were both musicians. He set out to study music but found early on that he preferred art, which he studied in Germany and France. His paintings embrace expressionism and cubism.

Feininger began his career as a cartoonist and pioneer of the comic strip. He also composed, played piano and dabbled in photography - in his "spare time". A multi-talented individual!

I wasn't familiar with his name or his work before preparing this post. There's plenty of information on his professional progression online, but hardly anything about his personality and personal life. There might be clues in the book shown, above left. He married twice. His second wife was Jewish, which partly accounted for the couple's emigration to the USA in the 1930s, from Germany where they had settled. The Nazis labelled Feininger's paintings "degenerate" anyway, so he had at least two reasons for leaving the land where it appeared he had felt most at home, had absorbed the trends and culture of that country over several decades, and had become an early member of the famous Bauhaus school of art and architecture.

See also HERE and HERE

Examples of of his paintings:

 Gables I, Lueneberg
Jesuiten III (Jesuits III)
Segelboote (Sailing Boats)

 Time Immemorial

 Umpferstedt I

 Silver Star

Lady in Mauve

Am Strande (On the beach)

Covers from his cartooning days:

Lyonel Feininger's natal chart. has his birth data: as 17 July 1871, New York, at 06:08 the time with a "C" rating (source unknown, use with caution).

A quadruple Cancerian : Sun, Moon Uranus and Jupiter - the first 3 of those conjoined. I found nothing about Feininger's personality online, but if his nature shines through his artwork he would appear to have been a mix of light-hearted humour (his cartooning) and a detail oriented guy keen on modernity and experimentation (his cubism-like style involving human figures).

Venus, planet of the arts, lay in precise Virgo, in harmonious trine to Saturn (structure) in its home sign Capricorn, and in helpful sextile to Jupiter (expansion, humour) in Cancer. That, together with avant garde and experimental Uranus conjoining Sun and Moon just about describes his art styles.

Neptune (imagination, creativity, photography) in Aries was in square (challenging) aspect to the more emotionally-charged Cancer cluster, which gives a kind of echo to the more precise, structured Saturn-ish feel of his cubist-related work - he definitely wasn't in the business of painting fluffy, dreamy mystical scenes!

Saturn, lying opposite Jupiter, could be seen to reflect a balance of his two signature styles: humour and structure.


mike said...

I was remotely aware of Feininger's cartoon strips, but not of his paintings. I looked at the Wiki link you provided, then to the Kin-der-Kids' link. His cartoon panels are exceptional...I'd like to see them all...there aren't too many, as neither of the comics endured more than a few months. Says that the cartoons were exceptional for the dialogue and story continuations, which were apparently unusual for the time. States that he had difficulties with the publishers. I like the anthropomorphic notions.

He has planets in the cardinal signs as you note, with two major squares, but not a T-square or cardinal grand cross. I would suppose his mood changed with the seasons and that he was moody any-ol'-how with the stellium in Cancer...LOL. A very self-directed individual.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I very much like his paintings, I usually enjoy looking at cubists' work anyway, but his has a milder touch, with more humanity and less geometry about it.

His cartoons were elegant weren't they? I like the way his figures in both his artwork and cartoons are elongated. Apparently he was a tall gangly guy himself.

There's a website bearing his name with a gallery in slideshow form, month by month showing all his cartoons.


The bio section there says:

Feininger often became frustrated with editors because he felt they dictated his work.

LOL! As you said, self-directed.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I won't pretend to know much about art, but for a cubist, his work seems so graceful, elegant.

If the birth time is correct, there's a whole lot going on in Feininger's 12th house. Maybe he channeled all that energy artistically - he seems to have been a very talented guy.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, he managed to fuse cubism with expressionism, giving one a softer and the other an edgier effect.

He's another with a clustered and clearly-defined focus in his chart, which we quite often see in the charts of successful people. Single-minded, even when multi-talented. :-)