Nikolaus Braun

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Nikolaus Braun in 1920.
Born January 17, 1900(1900-01-17)
Berlin
Died 1950
New York City

Nikolaus Braun (Miklós Bela) was a German/Hungarian artist and sculptor, born 1900 in Berlin. He studied under Arthur Segal at the Kunstschule in Berlin and joined the Novembergruppe, a loose union of radical artists, which was created in December 1918 in Berlin under the impression of the November revolution. Braun exhibited with the group from 1923 on. Both Segal and Braun were also associated with Der Sturm and the December Gallery. In 1924, Braun participated in the First German Art Exhibition in Moscow. [1] [2]

In the mid-1920s, Braun and Segal worked with light and its effect, producing photos and light reliefs, which were anticipating kinetic art. Braun's work, Light Rhythm, exhibited at a Novembergruppe show in 1923 was mentioned by Ludwig Hilbersheimer in the Sozialistisches Monatscheft in company with the works of Vilmos Huszár, László Peri, and Moholy-Nagy, among others, as well as the films of Hans Richter and Werner Graell. In 1925, they published a treatise entitled Lichtprobleme der Bildenden Kunst [On the Problem of Light in the Fine Arts]. This volume was an exploration of the meaning of light and form in their work and in his essay, "Konkretes Licht" [Concrete Light], Braun mentioned that he used electric light in his reliefs, light sculptures, and illuminated stages. Both Braun and Segal were strongly influenced by Viking Eggeling’s early film experiments, and in 1924 were, along with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo Peri, Erno Kallai, Alfred Kemeny and others, in attendance at Eggeling’s screening of the Diagonal Symphony. [3]

In 1920-1938, Braun was married to the painter Anne Ratkowski (born 1903 in Berlin) [4]. In 1938, the couple destroyed their paintings before escaping Nazi Germany to Belgium. The same year, Braun moved on to Hungary, where he lived during World War II. 1949 he immigrated to the United States, where he died one year later in New York City. [5]

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