Arthur Segal (1875-1944) was born to jewish parents in Jassy, Romania. In 1892 Segal studies at the Academy of Art in Berlin, taking master classes with Eugen Bracht. Two years later he continues his studies at the Académie Julien in Paris, attending Ludwig Schmid-Reutte and Friedrich Fehr’s painting school in Munich one year later, after which he takes up studies with Carl von Marr at the Academy of Art in Munich, where he is active as a freelancer from 1899 before moving to Berlin in 1904 and taking part in the 1909 and 1913 exhibitions of the Berliner Secession. His first woodcuts are published in Herwarth Walden’s Der Sturm in 1911, followed a year later by an exhibition in Walden’s eponymous art gallery.
Arthur Segal, Der Sündenfall (Fall of Man), 1920
In 1914 he emigrates to Ascona and becomes acquainted with Hans Arp, Alexei von Jawlensky, Hugo Ball, and Leonhard Frank. In 1916 he has an exhibition at the Cabaret Voltaire of the Zurich Dadaists, returning in 1920 to Berlin where he opens his own painting school, with Nikolaus Braun and Lou Albert-Lasard among his students. He is a member of the Novembergruppe (November Group), being on its board of directors for some time and repeatedly participating in the group’s exhibitions from 1921 to 1931. His Berlin studio is the place of regular meetings of Adolf Behne, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, and George Grosz. Together with Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Käthe Kollwitz among others he is active in the trade unions’ campaign "For an eight-hour-day". In 1925 he is the co-publisher with Nikolaus Braun of the treatise "Lichtprobleme der Bildenden Kunst" (On the Problem of Light in the Fine Arts). In 1933 he emigrates to Mallorca and three years later to London where he opens a painting school. In 1944 he dies of heart failure during a bombing raid of the German Luftwaffe.
Nikolaus Braun (Miklos Bela) was a German/Hungarian artist and sculptor who was born in 1900. In 1920 he became a student of Arthur Segal at his painting studio in Berlin. Segal and Braun were members of the Novembergruppe (November Group) and the studio of Segal was a regular meeting place for artists like Adolf Behne, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters and George Grosz. Braun exhibited with the November Group from 1923 on. Both, Segal and Braun were also associated with Der Sturm (The Storm) and the December Gallery.
Nikolaus Braun, Berlin street scene, 1921
In 1924, Braun participated in the First German Art Exhibition in Moscow. In 1925, Braun and Segal 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. This book is extremely rare and only four copies are known to be in libraries worldwide. Both , teacher and student were strongly influenced by Viking Eggeling’s early film experiments. In 1924, Braun and Segal, along with Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo Peri, Erno Kallai and Alfred Kemeny were in attendance at Eggeling’s presentation of the Diagonal Symphony. In 1938 Braun emigrated to Budapest and later, in 1949, he moved to the United States. He died in New York in 1950.