Born. 22.09.1905 in Altenbögge/Westf.
Died. 01.10.1976 in Herrsching am Ammersee
German painter, abstract painting
About the artist
Fritz Winter was born on 22 September 1905 in Altenbögge, Germany. At the age of fourteen he attended school during the day and worked in a coalmine during the evenings. At 19 he started painting and drawing and after a trip to Holland he saw the works of Vincent van Gogh. His art teacher, impressed with his work, advised him to learn more at an art school.
He received a confirmation of admission to the winter semester for basic teaching at art school that had been signed by Paul Klee. Studying at the school under Kandinsky, he earned a living by painting tiles. After working in a stage department for Paul Klee in 1928 he obtained a scholarship from the city of Dessau.
Winter was against the ideals of Bauhaus and had his own approach towards abstract art. In 1930 he took a break from his studies and worked at in Gabo’s studio in Berlin and also had his first solo exhibition at the Buchholz Gallery.
As with many artists up to and during the war, Winter was banned from painting and exhibiting. Some of his art was removed from museums and destroyed. In 1939 he was called up to the army and sent to fight firstly in Poland and then against the Soviet Union. During his time in the trenches he made field sketches. He was a prisoner of war for four years in Siberia and the sketches that he made during this time he destroyed in fear of being recaptured as a spy when he was released.
As a pioneer of abstraction in Europe, he formed the artist group ZEN 49, coming together in the “Otto Stangl” gallery in Munich in July 1949 loosely based on the new world generation of the Blauen Reiter. In 1953 he married his longtime partner Margarete Schreiber-Rüffer and in the same year he was a guest lecturer at the Landeskunstschule Hamburg. In 1955 he received a professorship at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Kassel. His wife died in 1958 and lost his wife and 1959 he was very ill due to the injuries he had sustained during the war. In the same year he married his dead wife’s daughter from her first marriage. In 1961 he completed the building of his studio on the grounds of his house in Dießen and spent a lot of his time there away from the family. When he turned 60 he was honoured with exhibitions throughout Germany as one of the best post-war artists. He spent the last years away from public interest at his house in Dießen.
Fritz Winter died on October 1, 1976 in Herrsching am Ammersee.