Ferdinand Springer Biography

Ferdinand Springer




Ferdinand Springer, painter and printmaker, was born in Berlin in 1907 to a German father and a Swiss mother. After high school he enrolled in studies in art history at the University of Zurich. He began painting in 1927 and visited Milan where he met Morandi and Carlo Carrà. In 1928 he moved to Paris where he studied with Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson.

In the early 1930s Springer worked and taught at Atelier 17 in Paris and, in 1937, he traveled to New York where he exhibited at the Julian Levy Gallery and met Calder and Dali. After moving to Provence in 1939, he was interned along with Ernst, Bellmer and Wols at the Tuilerie des Milles camp near Aix-en-Provence. After his release in 1940, Springer returned to Grasse and started the “Grasse Group” with Hans Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli and others. The escalation of the war forced him to move to Switzerland and much of his work from that time was lost.

Springer re-launched his career in 1950 and, in 1960, he became a pioneer in the revival of printmaking, along with Friedlander, Courtin, and Henri-Georges Adam. In 1975 he settled permanently in Grasse where he died on December 31, 1998.