After studying painting at the Art Academy in Dresden, Felixmüller worked as a painter in Dresden and Berlin, often contributing to the journal Der Sturm. In 1917 he founded Menschen with his friend Felix Stiemer. In 1918 he moved back to Dresden and founded the Dresdner Sezession and joined the November Group. He wrote also several books on design theory. Greatly influenced by Expressionism, his style moved toward Realism, in line with the social changes of the time and later toward calmer, more reassuring subjects.
He returned to Berlin in search for more freedom of expression but WWII forced him to abandon art, until in 1949 he became Professor at the Martin Luther Universität in Halle. He moved back to Berlin in 1961.