Rolf Cavael

(Königsberg 1898 - 1979 München)

The line is the defining element in Cavael's work. His preoccupation with it already began with his studies of typography at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. After completing his studies and beginning to teach, he approached the line with abstract painting. A first exhibition in 1933 with Josef Albers was closed by the National Socialists. A ban on painting and exhibitions followed, but Cavael did not abide by it. In 1936 he was imprisoned for nine months in the Dachau concentration camp. His liberation after the end of the war was expressed, among other things, in the co-founding of the artist group "ZEN 49" in Munich. A connection in whose center the spreading of the non-objective art stood. Members included Fritz Winter, Willi Baumeister and Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff. Literature cites Cavael's graphic training as well as music and biology as sources for his art. A sense of rhythm and movement can be seen in all his paintings. The view through the microscope also shaped his vision. Like structures of tiny organisms, the lines on the canvas banish their way. The color fields mostly stay within the spectrum of primary colors. His pictures arise spontaneously and directly from an inner force, whose song he banishes on the canvas, as he said himself. (EW)


born in Königsberg
1924 - 1926
Studied typography and applied graphics at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/M. Subsequently teacher of applied graphics at the Städtische Handelsschule in Frankfurt/M.
works as a freelance artist in Berlin, friendship with Wassily Kandinsky
Closing of the exhibition with Josef Albers in Braunschweig, exhibition ban, continues to paint abstract pictures in secret
Denunciation leads to imprisonment in Dachau concentration camp
Co-founder of the artist group "ZEN 49" in Munich with Willi Baumeister, Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff, among others
Guest professorship at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg
1956 - 1973
Teaching at Munich Community College
Art Prize of the City of Munich as one of the most important representatives of non-figurative painting in Germany
dies in Munich