Albert Birkle was born in 1900 as the first son of a middle-class, the arts compared to open-minded parents' house in Berlin-Charlottenburg.Birkle maternal grandfather was Gustav Bregenzer, court painter in Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, the particular landscapes in the style between realism and Biedermeier on his way helped designed and Birkle crucial. Origin and youth of the painter were closely Sigmaringen and the Upper Danube Valley connected.
Albert Birkle initially served as a soldier in World War I before his apprenticeship as a post-war decorative painter took in his father's business.From 1918 to 1924 he studied with Ferdinand Spiegel and Paul Plontke at the University of the Arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg. As the youngest member Birkle in 1921. Shot in the Berlin Secession and later in that of Max Liebermann led as president Prussian Academy of Arts added.1924 married Birkle the Lady Artist Elisabeth Starosta. Immediately after college degree In 1924 he became a master student of Arthur Kampf at the Prussian Academy of Arts. During this academic year until 1927 he formed from a religious-social-critical realism with newly objective aspects, which assumed caricature, particularly in his very individual faces.
In 1924 he had his first big collective exhibition at the Artist House Berlin, more exhibitions in Berlin and other German cities followed in 1929 and 1932. 1927 was held in Berlin, the first solo exhibition in the gallery Hinrichsen instead. In the same year Birkle declined the appointment to the Academy of Fine Arts Konigsberg off to jobs for church murals among others in Geislingen to run and Katowice can. Albert Birkle undertook numerous study trips to countries such as Austria, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Norway and France .
The political turmoil ahead of the seizure of power by the National Socialists led the artist to turn his back on the capital, and he moved in 1932 with his family to the Austrian Salzburg on. The financial support through a dedicated collector, M. Neumann from Thuringia, facilitated this step. He could already point to this period an extensive body of work early. Between expressionism and New Objectivity standing and often oversubscribed into fantasy, a direct and close relationship to the Christian is often Passion recognizable. His work "Great Crucifixion" has already caused in 1922 a stir. Nevertheless Birkle pointed continue to strive not to neglect the exhibition industry in Berlin. He regularly charged the annual exhibitions of the Berlin Academy and the Association of Berlin Artists .
In the 1930s, lost in Birkle work its sociocritical tendencies and his Landscapes and industrial motifs became more atmospheric and more monumental. The attitude of the Nazis towards him remained below its long ambivalent. After Birkle in 1936 Germany at the Venice Biennale was entitled, the images shown there had a year later on the personal order of Adolf Hitler before opening of an exhibition in the Haus der Kunst are located in Munich. Also in other public collections of his works were now degenerate art explained and seized, including the National Gallery in Berlin.
Thus the artist was out of favor, however, was by his good relations and the protection Josef Thorak achieve that temporarily against him was imposed publication ban was lifted again. At the same time he received more public contracts, including the design of murals and the frescoThe Dionysian festival for the Berlin Schiller Theater and glass windows for the Air Ministry in Berlin.
At the beginning of World War II to Birkle volunteered to Reichsarbeitsdienst and escaped as temporary military service. As a war artist led the convinced pacifist a fresco painting in the Glasenbach barracks in Salzburg, was then sent as a war from 1941 to 1943 to France, but he had to engage in 1944 again. At the exhibition German artist and the SS 1944 in Salzburg his painting "Winter in Salzburg" was issued.
Birkle received 1946 the Austrian citizenship . The traumatic experiences of his military service he worked in his graphic cycle "De Profundis", a work of monumental size and complexity, which occupied him for many years. In the subject Birkle entered it far beyond the reflection concrete current affairs; rather, he seemed to sense in the suffering in the metaphysical sense as a basic condition of human existence, despite the decision put forward social criticism. In contrast, the stepped oil painting significantly.
After the war Birkle received in his adopted country, more and more orders for the design of glass windows. He worked mainly as a religious glass painter who with the coming from France "Dallglas new ground technique". Among them were works for Bürgerspitalskirche St. Blasius and the Christ Church in Salzburg as well as the parish church of the Holy Blood in Graz. The deeply religious artist had thus opened up a field of activity, on which he in his artistic self-image now decisively defined as ever about the painting of his beginnings, and he conceded unrestricted priority during the following decades. Only when the public art celebrated a revival of his painted work from the twenties, he was back to his old medium. In his later oil paintings he attacked again on the subject of the twenties; in the unequal brighter palette and the unusual form of treatment, however, he reflected his undeniably decades of experience in the stained glass .
1958 Birkle was awarded the title of professor. The 1950s and 1960s were filled with an intense work in the field of stained glass. It originated important works and window cycles religious and decorative tendency. In expressive paintings and drawings later works attacked Birkle, as "chronicler of the time" understanding, to earlier motifs from the 1920s and 1940s and their socially critical tendencies back. Is also found in his biblical representations of critical comments on the time. From 1968 to 1978 Albert Birkle created a window cycle of five large glass windows for the National Cathedral in Washington, DC He was the only European artist to order.
On January 29, 1986 Albert Birkle died in Salzburg.