Margaret Leiteritz

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Margaret Leiteritz (1907–1976) was a German painter who studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1928 to 1931.[1]

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Leiteritz produced her 'painted diagrams', which drew heavily from the scientific articles and books in her care (she was a professional librarian before becoming a painter).

Many of her works were strongly influenced by chemical engineering, and especially the field's graphs which depicted physical properties of substances. Leiteritz's paintings typically reworked a mundane graph using large expanses of colour and a bold abstract theme, into a dynamic painting. Other works are reminiscent of a Bunsen burner flame or a DNA gel.

One of her most famous paintings, "Crossing at the Left Border" (1966; oil on linen), appeared on the cover of the catalogue for an art exhibition in Chicago in 1969. This painting is known to have been inspired by a specific graph appearing in an otherwise unremarkable paper of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering Journal.

Her work has much in common with that of Paul Klee.


  1. ^ Lindemann, Klaus E. R. (2001) Die Bauhauskünstlerin Margaret Leiteritz: Gemalte Diagramme. Karlsruhe: INFO Verlag. ISBN 978-3881900508