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German painter and designer, born at Freiburg. After studying briefly at the Academy in Karlsruhe he served in the First World War and afterwards resumed painting without further formal training. His early style was representational and had affinities with *Neue Sachlichkeit, but in the 1930s he turned to abstraction. This was partly because of the influence of *Baumeister (with whom he was friendly from 1929) and of *Brancusi (whom he met in Paris in 1930) and partly because of the influence of Chinese calligraphy and hieroglyphics (he had been introduced to Chinese culture by the Orientalist Ernest Grosse).

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)