German abstract painter, typographer and teacher; one of the first painters to work throughout his career in an abstract style. Born in Osnabruck. Moved to Hanover in 1919 to study architecture and sculpture at the School of Arts and Crafts and the Polytechnic. Made his first abstract reliefs in 1919. Met Lissitzky, Schwitters, Arp and van Doesburg, and joined the de Stijl group in 1924. Painted geometrical abstract pictures, frequently with a diagonal emphasis. Founded with Schwitters, Nitzschke and Buchheister 'Die abstrakten hannover' in 1927 and had his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Povolozky, Paris, in 1929. Member of Abstraction-Création 1932. Moved from Hanover to Berlin in 1936, then left Germany in 1937 because of the Nazis and went first to Switzerland, then in 1938 to Amsterdam. His later works had a wider range of vivid colours. Appointed director of the visual communication course at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm, in 1954 by Max Bill. Died in Ulm.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.755