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"One Of The Most Underrated American Painters"
Alfred Henry Maurer (April 21, 1868-Aug. 4, 1932); American modernist painter. Exhibited his work in avant-garde circles internationally and in New York City during the early 20th century. Highly respected today, his work met with little critical or commercial success in his lifetime, and he died, a suicide, at the age of 64.
Born in New York City, the son of German-born Louis Maurer, a lithographer with a pronounced disdain for modern art. At 16, Maurer had to quit school to work at his father's lithographic firm. In 1897, after studying with sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward and painter William Merritt Chase, Maurer left for Paris, where he stayed the next 4 years, joining a circle of American and French artists. Finding the instruction at the Academie Julian too limited, he spent most of his time copying in the Louvre. His self portrait from that time expresses the 'youthful optimism" of that period of his life. At the time, Maurer worked in a conventional but self-assured realist style.
....Yet, at age 36, in Paris, deviating from what everyone (including himself, at times) called "acceptable" painting styles, Maurer changed his methods sharply and from that point on painted only in a cubist and fauvist manner. His break from realism and new commitment to modernism, fostered by exposure to the art collected by his friends Gertrude and Leo Stein, subsequently cost him his international reputation and any hope of paternal regard....
Maurer: "My main concern in painting is the beautiful arrangement of color values -- that is, harmonized masses of pigment, more or less pure. For this reason, it is impossible to present an exact transcription of nature....It is necessary for art to differ from nature....Perhaps art should be an intensification of nature; at least it should express an inherent feeling which cannot be obtained from nature except through a process...." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Henry_Maurer)