Felixmuller left Dresden after joining the Communist party in 1919. In 1920 rather than use his recently won Saxon State Prize for it's intended purpose, travel to Rome, he visited the Ruhr District and studied the life of the coal miners. Shocked by the high unenployment he saw there, and feeling that he would contribute something worthwhile by making the miners' plight known, Felixmuller executed several powerful paintings, drawings, and woodcuts in the early 1920's. " To do this," he writes, " To show the toiling proletarian, I was reduced to the simpliest forms, to reproducing simple, organic things that could be comprehended in their natural, their
human and their social context... The violence of the situation permitted the forceful character of the woodcut."
This images were hailed as among the best work of the period.
In one of the earliest monographic articles on Felixmuller the playwright Carl Sternheim wrote in Der Cicerone: " This Muller... peeled the mask from the faces of his contemporaries... and in his paintings there appeared for the first time the proletariat, hitherto passed over in silence." Felixmuller continued to draw on his Ruhr experiences for his illustrations for Die Aktion. But by the mid-twenties, he had turned his back on expressionism, and until his death in 1977 he created sweet, intimate portraits and landscapes.