Fritz Winter

1905
Fritz Winter is born in Altenbögge near Unna on 22nd September. His father is a miner, his mother a housewife.

1919
Training as an electrician, followed by employment as an electrical fitter and miner.

1925
Jobless – aimless wanderings through Belgium and Holland – first attempts at painting and drawing – takes a deep interest in the works of Vincent van Gogh and Paula Modersohn-Becker.

1927-1930
Studies at the Bauhaus in Dessau under Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer, Joost Schmidt, among others. Combines artistic with scientific interests.

1928-1929
Takes part in first exhibition: "Young Bauhaus Painters" in Halle, Braunschweig, Erfurt and Krefeld.

1929
Visits Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Davos – first one-man exhibition in Davos – meets Naum Gabo – influenced by Kirchner and "primitivism".

1930
Second visit to Kirchner in Davos – moves with Franz Ehrlich and Heinz Löw to Berlin, where they form the group "Studio Z" – works for 3 months in the studio of Naum Gabo in Berlin – finishes his studies at the Bauhaus on 10th September – first one-man exhibition in Germany, at the Kunststube Buchholz in Berlin - first abstract compositions evolve from the formal influences of Arp, Braque, Kirchner and Picasso.

1931-1932
Teaches at the Academy of Education in Halle – third visit to Kirchner – travels to Italy – first collages.

1932
Begins his series of "Biomorphic Ovals" (continued until 1935), "Tectonic Variants of Elementary Forms", "Geometrical Compositions".

1933
Moves with his companion and future wife Margarete Schreiber-Rüffer and her son Klaus-Dietrich to Allach near Munich – takes part in an exhibition of works of contemporary German art owned by Swiss collectors at the Kunsthaus in Zürich – begins his series of "Open Angular Structures" and "Dynamic Light Spaces" (continued until 1937) and their first variants, "Crystal and Light Ray Paintings" (continued until 1934).

1935
Moves to Diessen on Lake Ammer – produces his series of "Fantastic Landscapes" as a sequel to his "Dynamic Light Spaces" (continued until 1937)

1936
Admitted to the Reich Culture Chamber.

1937
All Winter’s works in public collections in Germany are confiscated under the Nazi’s "Degenerate Art" campaign – he is forbidden to paint – continues to paint "under tellurian dominance".

1939-1945
Soldier on the Eastern Front – returns home on leave on numerous occasions, sometimes in order to recuperate from battle wounds – during these periods of home leave, between 1940 and 1944, he paints his series of "Driving Forces of the Earth".

1941
Death of Margarete’s son, Klaus-Dietrich Schreiber.

1944
While on several months’ recuperation leave at the beginning of the year, he produces the 45 works on typewriting paper that constitute the main body of his "Driving Forces of the Earth".

1945-1949
Prisoner of war in Russia.

1946
His works are exhibited in several exhibitions thanks to the initiative of Margarete Schreiber-Rüffer.

1949
Released from captivity and returns to Germany on 10th May – founding member of the ZEN 49 group – exhibits at the Kunsthalle in Mannheim together with Ernst Wilhelm Nay – following his "Backreferences", the immediate sequels to his "Driving Forces of the Earth", he produces his first new works in "heavy single shapes" and "material-dominant textures".

1950
Travels to Italy and France – meets Hans Hartung in Paris – 2nd Prize at the 25th Venice Biennale and 2nd Ströher Award, Darmstadt.

1950-1956
Placed "under contract" by the Marbach Gallery in Berne.

1951
Domnick Prize, Stuttgart – 1st Prize of the Deutscher Künstlerbund (Association of German Artists), in the annual exhibitions of which he still continues to take part – exhibits at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hanover together with Lyonel Feininger – begins his series "Dynamic Lineation and Colour Space" (continued until 1955).

1952
Konrad von Soest Prize

1953
Guest lecturer at the Hamburg Regional College of Art (Landeskunstschule Hamburg) – marries Margarete Schreiber-Rüffer.

1955
Appointed professor at the School of Art and Design in Kassel – exhibits at the Premio Lissone.

1956
Cornelius Prize of the City of Düsseldorf – begins his series "Hardened Forms" (continued until 1961).

1957
International Graphics Prize Tokyo – Prize of the International Building Exhibition, Berlin – Prize of the "Association Belge des Critiques d’Art"

1958
Prize of the World Fair in Brussels – Art Prize of the City of Berlin – Premio Marzotto, Milan (2nd prize) – the death of Margarete Winter-Rüffer triggers deep depression.

1959
Grand Art Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia – after a long period of illness he marries Waltraud Schreiber.

1961
Commences his ongoing series "Primacy of Colour" (continued until 1975), beginning with his "Rectangles and Rows" (continued until 1966)

1965-66
First large retrospective exhibition marking his 60th birthday, shown in Kassel, Koblenz, Hanover, Mannheim, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Berlin.

1966
Commences his ongoing series "Hardened Structures – Stencil Paintings" (continued until 1975).

1969
Great Order of Merit (3rd Class) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

1970
Retires from his professorial duties in Kassel – moves back to Diessen completely.

1971
Ordre pour le mérite

1974
Great Order of Merit (2nd Class, with Star) of the Federal Republic of Germany – death of his second wife, Waltraud Schreiber-Winter – donates a large number of paintings to the Munich Gallery Association, now the Fritz Winter Foundation, Munich.

1975
Opening of the Fritz Winter House in Ahlen, Westphalia

1976
Wins the 1977 Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen in June but dies in Herrsching on Lake Ammer on 1st October before it can be officially awarded.

Galerie Henze & Ketterer
Kirchstrasse 26, CH 3114 Wichtrach
Tel. +41 (0)31 781 06 01
Galerie Henze & Ketterer & Triebold
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