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Maurer, Alfred HenryDate of birth and death: 1868 - 1932
Nationality: AmericanUploaded artworks: 50
Alfred Henry Maurer was an American modernist painter. Maurer was born in New York City. He was the son of German-born Louis Maurer, a lithographer. At age sixteen, Maurer quit school to work at his father's lithographic firm. In 1897, after studying with the sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward and painter William Merritt Chase, Maurer left for Paris where he stayed the next four years, joining a circle of American and French artists. At the time, Maurer's style was realist. His painting An Arrangement, received first prize at the 1901 Carnegie International Exhibition. At age thirty-six, in Paris, deviating from what everyone (including himself) called "acceptable" painting styles, Maurer changed his methods sharply and from that point on painted only in the cubist and fauvist manner, subsequently risking his international reputation. An important early American avant-garde painter in 1909 he had a two-man exhibition with John Marin in New York City at the 291 gallery. Four of his paintings were included in the Armory Show of 1913. Leaving Paris shortly before World War I, he returned to his father's house only to be denied support. For the next seventeen years Maurer painted in a garret in his father's house and was able to gain no critical acclaim. He participated in important exhibitions held at the Anderson Galleries and others. He also exhibited regularly at the New York based Society of Independent Artists and was elected their director in 1919. In the 1920s and early 30s Maurerâ€™s visual repertoire expanded to include a range of new modernist forms and structures. Throughout the twenties Maurer painted brilliantly colored landscapes depicting the wooded areas, winding creeks and rolling hills around the Shady Brook boarding house, where he stayed in Ulster County from April/May until November, nearly every year from 1916 until 1932. Around 1926 Maurer devoted a good deal of time to painting flower studies infused with a marked degree of spontaneity. These florals, executed in various media, including oils and gouache, were scripted in a kind of personal calligraphy. During the 1920s Maurer became an important American pioneer of Cubist painting. He developed a highly personal and identifiable Cubist style. He devoted a great deal of time to working on Cubist still lifes and heads, which he rendered through highly innovative painting methods and techniques. Around 1927-28 after moving into a new studio space, he began working from the live model. Using the model as a focal point, he created figurative paintings and drawings that ranged from Cubist-oriented to CĂ©zannesque, to those that were more whimsical in spirit. These figure-based compositions took a variety of forms. At times they were naturalistic and in other instances they were highly provocative abstract statements. In Maurerâ€™s last years, much of his work became decisively Expressionist in character. Figurative distortions took on pronounced importance in his art, as formal and emotive elements collided with amplified intensity.
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