Principal and Secondary Movement

Accession Number

Principal and Secondary Movement

Fritz Winter

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on paper

19 5/8 x 27 9/16 in. (49.8 x 69.9 cm);28 x 35.9 in. (71 x 91.3 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy

Born in 1905, the eldest of eight children, Fritz Winter initially followed in his father’s footsteps by working as a miner. After working as an electrician and pursuing theater, Winter finally began to study painting in 1929. His teachers included Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, and he drew upon their influences.
After being labeled a "degenerate" artist by the Nazis, Winter was banned from exhibiting and painting in Germany, and his work was removed from galleries and museums. Following service in the German army in World War II and time spent as a Russian prisoner of war, Winter returned to Germany and re-entered the art scene in 1949. He co-founded Zen 49, a group of artists that established and defended abstract art. The German artists of Zen 49 shared the artistic tenets of the New York School.
This work is an excellent example of Winter’s post-war images. He strove to achieve a synthesis between clearly defined forms and color within his works. The viewer’s eye is guided through the composition by the dynamic use of straight and arching bands of broad brushstrokes. This flow is underscored by the title, which could refer to a musical composition or another form of movement. Although dominated by what seems to be a dark palette, the work gives off a glowing energy.
Jamina Ramírez, Intern for Modern and Contemporary Art, on the occasion of the exhibition The New York School: Abstract Expressionism and Beyond, July 20, 2002 – January 19, 2003

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Non-Representational Art
modern and contemporary art

2 Related Resources

Post-World War II German Abstraction
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved