Fritz Winter
(1905–1976)

Fritz Winter was born in Altenbögge, Westfalen in 1905. A student of Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Josef Albers at the Bauhaus, he was an early convert to the brand of lyrical abstraction—later rebranded as art informel—that would be termed “degenerate” after 1933 and thus forced underground. In 1939 Winter was enlisted in the Wehrmacht, and his participation in the Russian campaigns of 1941–42 eventually led to his imprisonment in Siberia until 1949. He became a founding member of the artist collective ZEN 49, whose first exhibition took place at the Munich Central Collecting Point. In 1955, the same year that Winter was named professor at the Kassel art academy, he was also invited to take part in the first documenta.

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