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Fritz Brandtner

Fritz Brandtner was born in Danzig in 1896. Brandtner is considered to be the artist who introduced German Expressionism to Canada. He was trained in Berlin but spent the majority of his career in Canada. He arrived in Winnipeg in 1928 where he worked as a house painter before being encouraged by the principle of the Winnipeg School of Art to exhibit his work. The introduction of expressionist style was a great shock to the Canadian art community. However, Brandtner found his artistic home in Montreal where his outlandish Expressionist style was praised and accepted. He quickly fell into established art circles like the Contemporary Arts Society. Brandtner also spent a short period teaching art to children in Montreal.

The introduction of Expressionism was an important contribution to Canadian art. Brandtner's style represents the spirit of Weimar Expressionist culture and art. His style was nurtured and matured in Quebec and influenced the work of abstract artists working in Montreal. His work is bold and recognizable with strong colours and trademark slashes of black diagonals which highlight his compositions. Brandtner died in Montreal in 1969.


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