Clemens Kindling

Clemens Kindling, 1916 - 1992 Kindling, who grew up in the town of Halle, on the river Saale, received his artistic training at the local Burg Giebichenstein Art Academy, which had a strong Bauhaus orientation, in the classes for painting and calligraphy.

Personal contacts and artistic influences from Dessau’s Bauhaus are unmistakable in Kindling’s work. A “glimmer of Feininger” shines through wherever his works are characterized by cubist and linear elements, in a highly individualized way. A scholarship enabled Kindling to further his studies at the Unified State Schools for Free and Applied Arts in Berlin Charlottenburg. Kindling’s army service from 1939 to 1945 did not mean an interruption of his work. Thanks to a special authorization he was allowed to paint whenever he could.

Thus, in the years 1942/43, looking at people and places with the eyes not of a soldier but of an artist, he created his works “People of Russia.” The artist’s last, most intensive creative period was in the years 1990/91. He returned from three trips to Italy with sketchbooks chock-full of images. The final yield from these trips was over 80 pictures, mostly pastels.

Unfortunately, many more, particularly oils, remained unfinished as the artist passed away on March 10, 1992. Kindling’s preferred stylistic features were lively colorfulness and color contrasts. In addition, the play of light and shadow, light and dark gives many of his pictures a very special charm. The artist enjoyed painting pensive views of cities as much as he did landscapes, portraits, or nudes. 




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Born in 1916, Clemens Kindling’s fierce impetus to paint at all costs began in the town of Halle along the river Salle where he grew up compelled to capture the faces and landscapes around him. The youngest of eight children with a missionary father, he was encouraged early to become a priest. But when his father passed away, his mother, who fostered his inherent talent, allowed him to attend the local Burg Giebichenstein Art Academy. At the time, the school was rich with the burgeoning Bauhaus influence and considered one of the most important centers for early German Expressionist exploration.

With professors who were themselves students of such masters as Renoir and Cezanne, Kindling developed from this deep historical influence that integrated with his own distinctive voice and carried throughout his pursuant life’s work. His style was composed of an organic and lively view of people and objects absent of rigid straight lines and filled with uneven compositions. Unlikely hues skewed reality while trademarks of the era’s new forays into expressionism were seen through color fields surrounded in black and other pivotal signatures.

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