Fighting Forms

One of Franz Marc’s final major paintings, in which non-representational form and abstraction have taken over, is Kämpfende Formen (Fighting Forms): dominated by two swirling shapes, one red and the other black.

Selected quotes from Franz Marc’s letters:

“Objects speak: objects possess will and form, why should we wish to interrupt them! We have nothing sensible to say to them. Haven’t we learned in the last thousand years that the more we confront objects with the reflection of their appearance, the more silent they become?”

“I am trying to intensify my feeling for the organic rhythm of all things, to achieve pantheistic empathy with the throbbing and flowing of nature’s bloodstream in trees, in animals, in the air.”

“Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.”


Franz Marc was a pioneer in abstract art at the beginning of the twentieth-century. With Kandinsky, he founded the almanac Der Blaue Reiter in 1911 and organized exhibitions with this name. The Blaue Reiter Group put forth a new program for art based on exuberant color and on profoundly felt emotional and spiritual states. It was Marc’s particular contribution to introduce paradisaical imagery that had as its focus a collection of animals, most notably a group of heroic horses.