Forms at Play documents Franc Marc’s occupation with the works of his friend Robert Delaunay, especially those from the series Les Fenêtres sur la Ville. With this painting, produced in the spring of 1914 in his house in Ried, Marc found his own path to abstraction and formulated his variation of ‘pure’ painting. Via proportion and rhythm of colors, the artist organized a course which leads from crystalline structures on the left hand edge of the picture through eruptive explosions of color and constructive forms to calm, seemingly organic figurations. Unlike Delaunay’s open structures in Les Fenêtres sur la Ville, Marc’s image has a center defined by strong red tones. His abstraction suggests natural processes, the growth of crystals and plants, unlike Delaunay’s references to a modern metropolis. Still, in his way of thinking, Marc had stuck to a naturalistic interpretation of art. As he wrote in May, 1915; "there is no abstract form without an object, it’s always there, quite clear and obvious, but it doesn’t always need to be there externally and noticeably."


  • Title: Forms at Play
  • Creator: Franz Marc
  • Date: 1914
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1976 with the support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Agnes-und-Eugen-von-Waldthausen-Platzhoff-Musuems-Stiftung and the Folkwang-Museumsverein
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museum Folkwang
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Höhe: 65.5 cm
  • Collection: Painting, Sculpture, Media Art, New Worlds
  • Breite: 170 cm

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