LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur

Franz Marc

Franz Marc, Abstract Forms II, 1914, Oil on canvas, 81.0 x 112.5 cm, Inv. Nr. 1098 LM, Acquired 1963 with the financial support of the German Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia © LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur

Franz Marc, Abstract Forms II, 1914

The variations on Abstract Forms are considered the artist’s last attempts at painting. It is typical of Marc’s working methods and the resulting workshop-like character that these paintings also shed light on their own conception. It was not an infrequent occurrence for him to work on several pictures simultaneously, subsequently over-painting works or even leaving them incomplete.

Marc constructed his compositions from colours, irregular areas and solid forms, with nature providing the point of departure for his art. From landscapes and animals as differing elements, via landscape as a background for the depiction of animals, to images that merged animal and landscape – he gradually further developed his abstraction, finding ever closer correlations between animals and landscape.

The overall composition of this painting relies upon the contrast between dark heavy bodies of paint to the left, and dissolving forms to the right. Amongst these structures, an elephant and a house become recognisable. Despite all the abstraction, Marc remains bound to the figurative, as he himself stated: “All forms are memories.”