Weber, Max

Weber, Max Biography

American painter, born in Poland, and taken to the United States in 1891. Max weber studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, and in Europe (1905-1908), where he was influenced by Paul Cezanne and was part of the avant-garde circles of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Weber's early cubist and expressionist works, such as Chinese Restaurant (1915, Whitney Museum, New York City), were disliked by conservative critics of the day, but with the growing acceptance of modern art, his work won increasing favor. After 1917 Max Weber's oil paintings became representational; his later style tended to be abstract and expressionist, with stress on brilliant color and violent distortions charged with emotion.

During the last 20 years of his career many of his oil paintings were based on Jewish subject matter, especially Hasidic themes. Like many immigrant artists during the 1930s, Max Weber became active in socialist causes and, in 1937, served as national chairman of the American Artists' Congress, an antifascist artists' group. Max Weber taught at the Art Students League in NewYork, teaching an oil painting class that the young Mark Rothko attended.

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