AUGUSTE F. BIEHLE (1885 - 1979)
The son of a German immigrant painter of decorative murals in Cleveland, Ohio, he achieved distinction as one of Ohio's most prolific and talented artists, especially noted for design and draftsmanship. His styles embraced Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, and American Scene Realism, and he worked in a variety of media including graphite, oil, gouache, pastel, tempera, and lithography.
He started drawing as a youngster and served as an apprentice to his father working on decorative commissions in Cleveland, Chicago, and surrounding areas. In 1903, when he was eighteen, he went to Munich to study at the Kunstgewerbeschule, a respected arts and crafts school. In 1908, he began working as a color consultant to Sherwin Williams Paint Company, and two years later returned to Munich where he studied at the Royal Academy and came under the influence of various modernist movements. He became an important link between these styles and Ohio painters, joining the artists' colony led by Henry Keller near Sandusky.
In the 1920s and 30s, he did numerous American Scene paintings and painted WPA murals during the Depression. From 1913 to 1952, he earned his living as a lithographer but during this time painted independently. In the 1960s, he turned to complete abstraction.
He died in 1979, having had a career of nearly seventy years. His paintings have been in numerous exhibitions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Butler Museum in Youngstown, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Whitney Museum in New York City.