Max Weber’s artistry was so important to twentieth century art. He introduced European Modernism to America. His work portrayed this dynamism using American rural subject matter. Weber emigrated from Russia to America as a young boy. He studied at the Pratt Institute in New York. Arthur Wesley Dow became his teacher for two years. Dow taught him to see forms as visual relationships rather than objects. Dow opened up the world of avant-garde art to him.
Weber taught at various schools to save money to travel abroad. In 1905 his wish came true and he traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julian, the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere and the Academie Colarossi. He went on to visit Gertrude Stein’s salon and befriend Henri Rousseau. Weber frequented the studios of Picasso, Braque and Matisse. The works of Cezanne and Gauguin and the Cubists artists really spoke to him. Weber’s work was exhibited in the Salon des Independents and the Salon d’Automne.
Weber returned to New York in 1909. His new works were slammed by the critics for his intense fauvist colors and distorted forms. Weber was of course ahead of his time and fellow artists found his work very inspiring. Alfred Stieglitz took Weber under his wing. Stieglitz sponsored Weber and exhibited his work at the Gallery 291.
After breaking ties with Stieglitz, Weber supported himself by teaching. Slowly his numerous one man shows which included the Newark Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave him financial security.
After WWI, spiritual and religious themes with an expressionist style because his subject matter. In the 1930’s he painted people and landscapes from his Jewish European back ground. Throughout his long career, his style changed and evolved. He also worked with different mediums such as oil, watercolor, printmaking and sculpture.
Representative examples of his work can be found in major and public collections in the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.