At the age of just 15 years old Schiele's father died of syphilis and Egon Schiele's custody was granted to his uncle who recognized and was a proponent of Schiele's artistic talent. At the age of 16 Schiele applied at Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, Austria where Gustav Klimt had also studied. Shortly after his arrival to his new school, Schiele was transferred to a different school the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. There he studied drawing and painting but felt suffocated by the school’s conservative nature. In 1907, Schiele sought out Gustav Klimt who was a role model for the young artist. Gustav Klimt was said to encouraged Schiele by buying his drawings and providing him with opportunities. Klimt invited Schiele to exhibit his work at the 1909 Vienna Kunstschau, where Schiele encountered the works of Edvard Munch. At this point in time Shiele's work began to flourish and he began to explore, not only the human form and sexuality with his work. To some his art would considered shocking but captured the publics interest. Schiele's lifestyle was also become more complex and diverse; in April 1912 he was arrested for seducing a young girl below the age of consent. When the police came to his studio to place him under arrest they had seized more than one hundred drawings which they considered pornographic. Schiele was imprisoned but soon after the charges of seduction and abduction were dropped yet the young artist was found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children. He was sentenced to only 24 days imprisonment. During the time that Schiele spent in prison he created a series paintings depicting the emotions he felt from his imprisonment. Schiele was married in 1915. In 1918 he was invited to the Secession's 49th exhibition. Schiele had more then forty works displayed in the exhibition. The exhibit was a major success for the artist created a great deal of recognition for the artist. Later that year the Spanish flu epidemic claimed both the lives of Egon and his pregnant wife Edith. Schiele's final work were all painted of his beloved wife.
German Expressionist painted born in Schleswig (a village near Nolde), Germany. His birth name was Emil Hassen but he later changed it to Emil Nolde after the name of the town near where he grew up in. Nolde was one of the first Expressionists and a member of famed "Die Brücke" group. He is perhaps best singled out for his heavy brushwork and dramatic use of color. Nolde was a supporter of the Nazi party from the early 1920s. He had considered Expressionism to be a distinctively Germanic style and shared viewpoints with high level Nazi officials such as Joseph Goebbels. Ironically Adolph Hitler rejected all forms of modern art as "degenerate art", and Nolde's work was officially condemned by the Nazi party. Prior to that point in time Nolde had been a highly regarded and famous artist in Germany. More then one thousand of Nolde's works were removed from German museums and some of them were included in the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. By law he was not even permitted to paint. In personal protest he considered to do so and created hundreds of watercolors which he titled the "Unpainted Pictures". After World War II, Nolde was reaffirmed as a great German artist and even received the German Order of Merit, Germany's highest civilian award.
Born in Oels, Silesia in 1941, Sigmar Polke moved from Thuringia to Düsseldorf in 1953, where he embarked on an apprenticeship as a glass-painter in 1959. He spent the years 1961 - 1967 at the Düsseldorf art academy under Gerhard Hoehme and Karl Otto Götz, where he also met Gerhard Richter and others.In 1963 Richter and Polke joined forces with Konrad Fischer-Lueg and Manfred Kuttner to organize an exhibition entitled "Eine Demonstration für den kapitalistischen Realismus" ("A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism"). The exhibits were marked by their ironical treatment of consumer products and the critical use of everyday clichés.
Even in his early pieces, Polke's art was marked by wit and irony, most noticably so when he featured socks, sausages or interchangeable advertisements from travel brochures. The first grid and strip pictures as well as paintings on decorating fabrics emerged.
In 1966 Sigmar Polke was awarded the "Kunstpreis der Jugend" and had his first solo exhibition. During the 1970s he travelled extensively, working intensively in photography. Both in this field and in painting, Polke's work often has an experimental flavor, with coincidence and autonomous chemical processes becoming discernable.
In 1972 Polke first exhibitied his work at a "documenta". In 1977 he became a lecturer and in 1991 he was appointed professor at the "Hochschule für Bildende Künste" in Hamburg.
Sigmar Polke's work can regularly be seen at exhibitions in Germany and abroad. In 1997 the largest retrospective of his works up to date took place at the Federal German Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn and at the "Galerie der Gegenwart", Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
Sigmar Polke died on 11 June 2010 in Cologne.