Nikolaus Braun (Miklos Bela) was a German/Hungarian artist and sculptor who was born in 1900. In 1920 he became a student of Arthur Segal at his painting studio in Berlin. Segal and Braun were members of the Novembergruppe (November Group) and the studio of Segal was a regular meeting place for artists like Adolf Behne, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters and George Grosz. Braun exhibited with the November Group from 1923 on. Both, Segal and Braun were also associated with Der Sturm (The Storm) and the December Gallery.
Nikolaus Braun, Berlin street scene, 1921
In 1924, Braun participated in the First German Art Exhibition in Moscow. In 1925, Braun and Segal published a treatise entitled, “Lichtprobleme der Bildenden Kunst” (On the Problem of Light in the Fine Arts). This volume was an exploration of the meaning of light and form in their work. This book is extremely rare and only four copies are known to be in libraries worldwide. Both , teacher and student were strongly influenced by Viking Eggeling’s early film experiments. In 1924, Braun and Segal, along with Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo Peri, Erno Kallai and Alfred Kemeny were in attendance at Eggeling’s presentation of the Diagonal Symphony. In 1938 Braun emigrated to Budapest and later, in 1949, he moved to the United States. He died in New York in 1950.