Der Blaue Reiter, German: “The Blue Rider” was an organization of artists based in Germany that contributed greatly to the development of abstract art. Neither a movement nor a school with a definite program, Der Blaue Reiter was a loosely knit organization of artists that organized group shows between 1911 and 1914. After resigning from the Neue Künstlervereinigung-München (“New Artists’ Society-Munich”), artists Wassily Kandinsky ,Gabrielle Munter , and Franz Marc organized a show entitled “First Exhibition by the Editors of the Blue Rider,” which was held December 1911 to January 1912 at the Moderne Galerie Tannhäuser, Munich. Forty-three works were shown by 14 artists, including, in addition to Kandinsky and Marc, Henri Rousseau David and Vladimir Burlyuk, Albert Bloch, and August Macke . The work of these artists was diverse, but it generally reflected an interest in free experimentation and spiritual expression.
The first exhibition received a mixed critical and public reception, but other artists were drawn to the group’s expressive freedom and eagerly volunteered to take part in a second group exhibition devoted largely to graphic art. Wishing to give form to mystical feelings, these artists wanted to imbue their art with deep spiritual content. Der Blaue Reiter painters were variously influenced by the Jugendstil group, cubism, futurism and “naive” folk art.