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ART: EXPRESSIONISM Edvard Munch, George Grosz,Marc Chagall et al

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EXPRESSIONISM Edvard Munch, George Grosz etc.

"In all its forms the movement stood out against fascism and this, together with its so called 'degenerate' qualities (it was anti-Aryan and anti-naturalism) led to the persecution of many Expressionist artists under the Nazi regime."

Edvard Munch- The Frieze of Life

"It shall no longer be painted interiors, people who read and women who knit. It shall be living humans who breath and feel, suffer and love..."









Franz Marc-

The works of German Expressionist painter Franz Marc and the music of Schumann: Reverie






Chagall- Berlioz, fantasy on " The Tempest"






Caspar David Friedrich- J.S. Bach por Barroco Andino







This Video

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art



Music: Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007
performed by Yo-Yo Ma






James Ensor - EXPRESSIONISM

James Ensor By They Might Be Giants




JAMES ENSOR - EXPRESSIONIST
PLAYFUL LOVERS?( my Title)

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James Ensor
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JAMES ENSOR

ENTRY OF CHRIST INTO BRUSSELS IN 1889

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James Ensor ( 1860-1949)


"During the 1880s Ensor turned to specifically religious subjects, frequently based on the torments of Christ. They are not interpreted in a narrowly religious sense, but are rather a personal revulsion to a world of inhumanity that nauseated him. This feeling , essentially unreligious and misanthropic, was climaxed in the vast ENTRY OF CHRIST INTO BRUSSELS IN 1889( painted in 1888), which depicts the passion of Christ as the center of an enormous Flemish kermess or carnival symptomatic of the indifference, stupidity, and venality of the modern world. Here, too, the artist gave early expression to his feeling about a horrible compression of humanity that denies and destroys the space of the picture. It is indicative of Ensor's bitter humor that he dated this obscene carnival - which is also his personal Last Judgement-one year in the future.


EXPRESSIONIST JAMES ENSOR
SURROUNDED BY THE DEAD (my title)

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JAMES ENSOR
A BANQUET AT CAFE APOLLINAIRE ( my title)

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The sense of death was strong in Ensor, manifesting itself in inumerable paintings, drawings, and prints perpetuating the walking dead of the late Middle Ages and the danse macabre. Skeletons try to warm their pathetic bones at a stove clearly imprinted " pas de feu. " Death with his scythe mows down the people of Brussels. The artist in 1888 portrays himself in 1960 as a relatively cheerful skeleton on the verge of complete disintegration. In Skeletons Fighting for the Body of a Hanged Man, the drama is enacted on a narrow stage reminiscent of Callot and the tradition of the Italian commedia dell'arte. "


From HISTORY OF MODERN ART by H.H. ARNASON pub. 1970? (p. 158 )

I hope you enjoy the pretty pictures.
This is my kind of painting. Stuff you can really sink your teeth into!!!

George Grosz political activist, satirist who was accused even before the rise of Hitler and the Nazis of being unpatriotic, anti-German and as being decadent and beyond redemption - the Nazis later also condemned , banned and publicly burned his works in order to cleanse Germany of such decadence and unGerman thoughts, feelings and sentiments.


The Americans though on the other hand were unable to appreciate Grosz's scathing yet prophetic attacks on fascism and Nazism seeing his response as a bit extreme. Little did they know how correct he and other critics of Fascism and Nazism really were. And as we know most Americans, Canadians and Brits prefer their art to be pretty and empty of all profound meaning or sense of real humanity. We are in the age of Dr. Pangloss and that this is the best of all possible worlds so why bitch and moan and gripe just sit back and become comfortably numb as Pink Floyd would say so there you go...

"Everywhere, hymns of hatred were struck up. Everyone was hated: the Jews, the capitalists, the Junkers, the Communists, the army, the property owners, the workers, the unemployed, the black Reichwehr, the control commissions, the politicians, the department stores, and the Jews again. It was an orgy of incitement, and the republic itself was a weak thing, scarcely perceptible. … It was a completely negative world, topped with colorful froth that many imagined to be true, happy Germany before the onset of the new barbarism." George Grosz

After moving to America in 1933 Grosz whole attitude appeared to change as he adapted to his new environment while trying to make a living so he created works with less vigor or passion to appease the American academics and its bourgeois apolitical artistic community.

"My motto was now to give offence to none and be pleasing to all. Assimilation is straightforward once one overcomes the greatly overvalued superstition concerning character. To have character generally means that one is distinctly inflexible, not necessarily for reasons of age. Anyone who plans to get ahead and make money would do well to have no character at all. The second rule for fitting in is to think everything beautiful! Everything – that is to say, including things that are not beautiful in reality." George Grosz


Note: The George Grosz drawings below which are From Graphic Witness? George Grosz Abrechnung Folgt! 57 Politische Zeichnungen
Translated as "One Day We'll Get Even" or, "The Day of Reckoning," this collection of 57 political drawings was published in 1923 by Der Malik, in Berlin.

Part of a series titled "Kleine revolutionare Bibliothek," the series comprised a dozen titles, including other works by Grosz: Das Gesicht der Herrschenden Klasse (The Face of the Ruling Class); Ecco Homo, Gott Mit Uns, Im Schatten (In the Shadow) and Die Räuber.

George Grosz (German, 1893-1958): Ecce Homo
"Whoever can, swims, and whoever is weak, goes under" FAMILY IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE NATION: GEORGE GROSZ


MY PENSION : GEORGE GROSZ ( Heroic Wounded War Veteran Left To Beg )
CAUTION: DON'T STUMBLE: GEORGE GROSZ
HITLER IN HELL: GEORGE GROSZ

"Those who eat well

...forget easily"

















My Fatherland, May You Rest In Peace (quiet )















I. The Director --
[Die Räuber, 1922] " I will exterminate everything
around me that restricts me from being master"
-- and his puppets


2. "They thunder sweetness and light from their clouds and offer human sacrifice to the god of love"
-- from Schiller, act II scene iii


Note: The Master will use religion as a tool to get what he desires much like the attitude of the Neoconservatives who also use religion and Patriotism for their own agenda. But the people are too stupid too know any better.



From Spaightwood Galleries we get this illuminating characterization of the artist's motives which were at odds with the somewhat insane and perverse society in which he found himself.


Grosz was fascinated by amusement parks and the circus, and he particularly loved clowns. He saw them as playing the same tragicomic role that the artist was forced to act on a bourgeois society. Grosz used his art of the early Berlin years to attack the self-contentedness of the bourgeois, primarily its plutocrats, during the German Empire. He anticipated the far in advance the disillusionment and shock of World War I as well as the change in art and society brought by the chaos of 1918. . . . Grosz’s paintings depicted modern city life with its desire, passions, and crimes. For Grosz, the chaos of the big city reflected the amorality of man. His basic attitude was totally pessimistic. By disregarding the laws of perspective, Grosz’s paintings represented a world falling into pieces. The sexual explicitness in his drawings matched the perverted knowledge of a precocious youth. Despite his distaste for anything romantic, one cannot fail to notice rather poetic moons and stars shining above city streets

In 1918 Grosz returned to Berlin even more convinced of society's insanity. At that time he made violently anti-war drawings, and drawings and paintings attacking the social corruption of Germany, including capitalists, prostitutes, the Prussian military caste and the middle class.

...He not only depicted victims of the catastrophe of the W.W.I—the disabled, crippled, and mutilated—he also portrayed the collapse of the capitalist society and its values. His wartime line drawings show him to be a master of caricature.

Here is a short bio. From Olga's Gallery George Grosz


Georg Ehrenfried Gross was born on 26 July 1893 in Berlin into the family of Karl Ehrenfried Gross, an innkeeper, and his wife Marie Wilhelmine Luise.. In 1908 he was expelled from school for having returned a trainee teacher's blow.

After passing the entrance exam he began his studies at the Royal Academy of Art in Dresden. While in the Academy he specialized in graphic art and started to co-operate with satirical magazines as early as 1910. In 1912 Grosz (then Gross) joined the graphic art course at the College of Arts and Crafts in Berlin. In 1913 he spent several months in Paris at Colarossi's studio. The main subjects of his drawings of the period are crimes and orgies, erotic subjects; his cartoons find publication in "Ulk", "Lustige Blätter" and other periodicals. He also did his first book illustrations and began painting in oils.

With the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered, but was discharged from the army several months later following a surgical operation. During this period in Berlin Gross met various authors, artists and intellectuals, among them those with whom he would found the Berlin Dada in 1917.

In 1916 the artist in protest against nationalism and patriotism altered his name to George Grosz. The same year he painted the earliest of his oils known, among them Lovesick and Suicide and a year later he published his first two albums, the "Erste George Grosz Mappe" and "Kleine Grosz Mappe".

Following the revolution in Russia, an artists' association, the "November Group" was established in Berlin in 1918, and Grosz joined it, soon after becoming a member of the Communist Party. In 1919, with the publisher Wieland Herzfelde (of Malik Publishing House), he started a magazine called "Die Pleite", and collaborated with Franz Jung on "Jedermann sein eigener Fussball" (Everybody his own football) and with John Hoexter and Carl Einstein on "Der blutige Ernst" (The bloody seriousness). His drawings, tartly critical of bourgeois society, appeared in various Malik publications; the artist also produced portfolios and books, which regularly aroused scandals.

In 1921 his album "Gott mit uns" (God with us) brought Grosz charges of defaming the Reichswehr (army); in 1924 he was prosecuted for offences against public morality by his album "Ecce Homo" (the album was confiscated as being pornographic); in 1928 for his drawing "Shut up and keep serving the cause" he was accused of blasphemy. All these scandals only helped consolidate his fame.

In 1924 the artist became chairman of the artists' association "Rote Gruppe" (Red Group); until 1927 he was a regular contributor to Communist publications. In 1928 he was co-founder of the "Association Revolutionärer Bildender Künstler Deutschlands" (German Association of Revolutionary Artists).

And from the Artchive George Grosz (1893-1959)
-
"Grosz considered himself a propagandist of the social revolution. He not only depicted victims of the catastrophe of the First World War - the disabled, crippled, and mutilated - he also portrayed the collapse of capitalist society and its values. His wartime line drawings show him to be a master of caricature. In a 1925 portfolio of prints Grosz ridiculed Hitler by dressing him in a bearskin, a swastika tattooed on his left arm. Until 1927 he also painted large allegorical paintings that focused on the plight of Germany; Count Harry Kessler, a leading intellectual and collector, called these 'modern history pictures.'

"Grosz was called by some the 'bright-red art executioner,' and indeed his political radicalism was well known. He had joined the German Communist party in 1922. Although a trip to Russia later that year disillusioned him, he continued to work with [radical publisher] Malik Verlag. Feeling out of step with Russia's politics, Grosz resigned from the party in 1923, but the next year he became a leader of Berlin's Rote Gruppe (Red group), an organization of revolutionary Communist artists that prefigured the Assoziation revolutionarer bildender Kunstler Deutschlands (ASSO, Association of revolutionary visual artists of Germany).

"By 1929 the political climate in Germany had shifted to the right, and, at best, Grosz's work was considered anachronistic. The periodical Kunst und Kunstler (Art and artists) commented...: 'Dix's Barrikade (Barricade) and Grosz's Wintermarchen (Winter tale) are now curiosities that only have a place in a wax museum, commemorating the revolutionary time. One doesn't make art with conviction alone.' In a somewhat more positive light, Grosz was described as a historical figure in the periodical Eulenspiegel in 1931: 'No other German artist so consciously used art as a weapon in the fight of the German workers during 1919 to 1923 as did George Grosz. He is one of the first artists in Germany who consciously placed art in the service of society. His drawings...are worthwhile not only in the present but also are documents of proletarian revolutionary art.' These comments were more indicative of the magazine's editorial stance than the tenor of the times, however. More in keeping with popular sentiment, Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (German art and decoration) described Grosz as one-sided and pathological, 'too obstinate, too fanatical, too hostile to be a descendant of Daumier .' Although according to the magazine's art writer he was a master of form, his social point of view was wrongly chosen.

"Grosz's reputation as a political activist and deflator of German greatness was no secret. Menacing portents and premonitions of disaster began to haunt him. A studio assistant appeared in a brown shirt one day and warned him to be careful; a threatening note calling him a Jew was found beside his easel. A nightmare he recounted in his autobiography ended with a friend shouting at him 'Why don't you go to America?' When in the spring of 1932 a cable arrived from the Art Students League in New York, inviting him to teach there during the summer, he accepted immediately. After a short return to Germany, where he was advised that his apartment and studio had been searched by the Gestapo, who were looking for him, the artist emigrated in January 1933. He became an American citizen in 1938.

"In the meantime Grosz was among the defamed artists whose works had been included in two Schandausstellungen (abomination exhibitions) in Mannheim and Stuttgart in 1933 In a letter of July 21, 1933, Grosz wrote that he was secretly pleased and proud about this turn of events, because his inclusion in these exhibitions substantiated the fact that his art had a purpose, that it was true 9 The polemical articles about modern art, "art on the edge of insanity" as the official Nazi newspaper, the Volkischer Beobachter called it, also regularly included Grosz, with particular attention paid to his portraiture. A portrait of Max Hermann-Neisse, later to appear in the exhibition Entartete Kunst, was singled out for the "degenerate loathsomeness of the subject." A total of 285 of Grosz's works were collected from German institutions; five paintings, two watercolors, and thirteen graphic works were included in Entartete Kunst.

"Grosz participated in an anti-Axis demonstration in New York in 1940 and revealed his reaction to the Führer in an interview with Rundfunk Radio in 1958:
"When Hitler came, the feeling came over me like that of a boxer; I felt as if I had lost. All our efforts were for nothing."

"Grosz returned to Germany permanently in 1958, somewhat disillusioned with his American interlude. He had wanted a new beginning and had tried to deny his political and artistic past, but he was appreciated in America primarily as a satirist, and the work from the period after the First World War was perceived as his best. The biting commentary that marked this early work was that of a misanthropic pessimist, not what he had become: an optimist infatuated with the United States. Grosz was unable to understand the American psyche to the degree that he had the German, and he returned to his homeland in an attempt to regain the momentum he had lost. He died in Berlin in an accident six weeks after his return."

- From Stephanie Barron, "Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany"

Art Links:

Olga's Gallery George Grosz

Olga's Gallery Homepage

Virtual Museum Of Art

ARTCYCLOPEDIA

Robin Urton Eyecon Art

Graphic Witness Visual Arts and Social Commentary

Spaightwood Galleries, INC.

WebMuseum,Paris

MARC CHAGALL


PAINTING BY MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985) " CALVARY "
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PAINTING BY MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985) " DEDICATED TO MY FIANCE "
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PAINTING BY MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985) "THE FIDDLER "
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PAINTING BY MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985) " THE POET "
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PAINTING BY MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985) " THE FALLING ANGEL"
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MARC CHAGALL (1889-1985)

Born to a humble Jewish family in the ghetto of a large Belorussian town ,Vitebsk ... Chagall passed a childhood steeped in Hasidic culture... Studied at a St Petersburg art school. Returning to Vitebsk, he became engaged to Bella Rosenfeld (whom he married twelve years later)...

In 1910, with a living allowance provided by a St. Petersburg patron, Chagall went to Paris. After a year and a half in rooms in Montparnasse, he moved into a studio on the edge of town in the ramshackle settlement for bohemian artists that was known as La Ruche ("the Beehive"). He met the avant-garde poets Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire, as well as a number of young painters destined to become famous: the Expressionist Chaim Soutine, the abstract colourist Robert Delaunay, and the Cubists Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Fernand Léger, and André Lhote. In such company nearly every sort of pictorial audacity was encouraged, and Chagall responded to the stimulus by rapidly developing the poetic and seemingly irrational tendencies he had begun to display in Russia. At the same time, under the influence of the Impressionist, Postimpressionist, and Fauvist pictures he saw in Paris museums and commercial galleries, he gave up the usually sombre palette he had employed at home.

... Breton, who admired the 'total lyric explosion' of his pre-war painting, tried to claim him for Surrealism but Chagall only flirted with it briefly during his exile in New York (1941-48). His emblematic irrationality shook off all outside influences: colour governed his compositions, calling up chimerical processions of memory where reality and the imaginary are woven into a single legend, born in Vitebsk and dreamed in Paris. Back in France, Chagall discovered ceramics, sculpture and stained glass...

Commissions poured in: for the Assy baptistery in 1957, the cathedrals of Metz (1960) and Rheims (1974), the Hebrew University Medical Centre synagogue in Jerusalem (1960), the Paris Opéra (1963). The Musée Chagall in Nice dedicated to the 'Biblical Message' set the seal on his fame in July 1973.


See MARK HARDENS ARTCHIVE
www.artchive.com
& www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/
& www.artelino.com/

as usual the website The Art Millennium is essential for further investigation study perusing & amusing . At www. nelepets.com/art/


Definitions and characterizations of Expressionism

From WebMuseum,Paris: Expressionism


"In all its forms the movement stood out against fascism and this, together with its so called 'degenerate' qualities (it was anti-Aryan and anti-naturalism) led to the persecution of many Expressionist artists under the Nazi regime."

In the north of Europe, the Fauves' celebration of color was pushed to new emotional and psychological depths. Expressionism, as it was generally known, developed almost simultaneously in different countries from about 1905. Characterized by heightened, symbolic colors and exaggerated imagery, it was German Expressionism in particular that tended to dwell on the darker, sinister aspects of the human psyche.

The term ``Expressionism'' can be used to describe various art forms but, in its broadest sense, it is used to describe any art that raises subjective feelings above objective observations. The paintings aim to reflect the artists's state of mind rather than the reality of the external world. The German Expressionist movement began in 1905 with artists such as Kirchner and Nolde, who favored the Fauvist style of bright colors but also added stronger linear effects and harsher outlines.

Although Expressionism developed a distinctly German character, the Frenchman, Georges Rouault (1871-1958), links the decorative effects of Fauvism in France with the symbolic color of German Expressionism. Rouault trained with Matisse at Moreau's academy and exhibited with the Fauves, but his palette of colors and profound subject matter place him as an early, if isolated Expressionist. His work has been described as ``Fauvism with dark glasses''.

Rouault was a deeply religious man and some consider him the greatest religious artist of the 20th century. He began his career apprenticed to a stained-glass worker, and his love of harsh, binding outlines containing a radiance of color gives poignancy to his paintings of whores and fools. He himself does not judge them, though the terrible compassion with which he shows his wretched figures makes a powerful impression: Prostitute at Her Mirror (1906; 70 x 60 cm (27 1/2 x 23 1/2 in)) is a savage indictment of human cruelty. She is a travesty of feminity, although poverty drives her still to prink miserably before her mirror in the hope of work. Yet the picture does not depress, but holds out hope of redemption. Strangely enough, this work is for Rouault-- if not exactly a religious picture-- at least a profoundly moral one. She is a sad female version of his tortured Christs, a figure mocked and scorned, held in disrepute.
The bridge to the future

Die Brücke (The Bridge) was the first of two Expressionist movements that emerged in Germany in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1905 a group of German Expressionist artists came together in Dresden and took that name chosen by Schmidt-Rottluff to indicate their faith in the art of the future, towards which their work would serve as a bridge. In practice they were not a cohesive group, and their art became an angst-ridden type of Expressionism. The achievement that had the most lasting value was their revival of graphic arts, in particular, the woodcut using bold and simplified forms.

The artists of Die Brücke drew inspiration from van Gogh, Gauguin and primitive art. Munch was also a strong influence, having exhibited his art in Berlin from 1892. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), the leading spirit of Die Brücke, wanted German art to be a bridge to the future. He insisted that the group, which included Erich Heckel (1883-1970) and Karl Schmidt-Rottluf (1884-1976), ``express inner convictions... with sincerity and spontaneity''.

Even at their wildest, the Fauves had retained a sense of harmony and design, but Die Brücke abandoned such restraint. They used images of the modern city to convey a hostile, alienating world, with distorted figures and colors. Kirchner does just this in Berlin Street Scene (1913; 121 x 95 cm (47 1/2 x 37 1/2 in)), where the shrill colors and jagged hysteria of his own vision flash forth uneasily. There is a powerful sense of violence, contained with difficulty, in much of their art. Emil Nolde (1867-1956), briefly associated with Die Brücke, was a more profound Expressionist who worked in isolation for much of his career. His interest in primitive art and sensual color led him to paint some remarkable pictures with dynamic energy, simple rhythms, and visual tension. He could even illuminate the marshes of his native Germany with dramatic clashes of stunning color. Yet Early Evening (1916; 74 x 101 cm (29 x 39 1/2 in)) is not mere drama: light glimmers over the distance with an exhilarating sense of space.

Die Brücke collapsed as the inner convictions of each artist began to differ, but arguably the greatest German artist of the time was Max Beckmann (1884-1950). Working independently, he constructed his own bridge, to link the objective truthfulness of great artists of the past with his own subjective emotions. Like some other Expressionists, he served in World War I and suffered unbearable depression and hallucinations as a result. His work reflects his stress through its sheer intensity: cruel, brutal images are held still by solid colors and flat, heavy shapes to give an almost timeless quality. Such an unshakeable certainty of vision meant that he was hated by the Nazis, and he ended his days in the United States, a lonely force for good. He is perhaps just discernible as a descendant of Dürer in his love of self-portraits and blend of the clumsy and suave with which he imagines himself: in Self-Portrait (1944; 95 x 60 cm (37 1/2 x 23 1/2 in)), he looks out, not at himself, but at us, with a prophetic urgency.
Austrian Expressionism: Egon Schiele
© 14 Oct 2002, Nicolas Pioch

And Expressionism is defined at ArtMovements.co.uk/ Expressionism

EXPRESSIONISM
KEY DATES: 1905-1925
A term used to denote the use of distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect, which first surfaced in the art literature of the early twentieth century. When applied in a stylistic sense, with reference in particular to the use of intense colour, agitated brushstrokes, and disjointed space. Rather than a single style, it was a climate that affected not only the fine arts but also dance, cinema, literature and the theatre.

Expressionism is an artistic style in which the artist attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements. In a broader sense Expressionism is one of the main currents of art in the later 19th and the 20th centuries, and its qualities of highly subjective, personal, spontaneous self-expression are typical of a wide range of modern artists and art movements.

Unlike Impressionism, its goals were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the surrounding world, but to strongly impose the artist's own sensibility to the world's representation. The expressionist artist substitutes to the visual object reality his own image of this object, which he feels as an accurate representation of its real meaning. The search of harmony and forms is not as important as trying to achieve the highest expression intensity, both from the aesthetic point of view and according to idea and human critics.

Expressionism assessed itself mostly in Germany, in 1910. As an international movement, expressionism has also been thought of as inheriting from certain medieval artforms and, more directly, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and the fauvism movement.

The most well known German expressionists are Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Lionel Feininger, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein; the Austrian Oskar Kokoschka, the Czech Alfred Kubin and the Norvegian Edvard Munch are also related to this movement. During his stay in Germany, the Russian Kandinsky was also an expressionism addict.

And given a shorter definition at ArtLex/ Expressionism

Expressionism - (with a capital E — the more specific sense) An art movement dominant in Germany from 1905-1925, especially Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, which are usually referred to as German Expressionism, anticipated by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) and others.


and from Mark Harden's Artchive/ Expressionism

Expressionism ( - From The Bulfinch Guide to Art History )
A term first used at the 1911 Fauvist and Cubist exhibition in Berlin.

It describes art which distorts reality through exaggeration, vigorous and visible brushwork and strong colour, in order to express an artist's ideas or emotions. Although these tendencies are apparent in art before the 20th century, particularly that of Northern Europe (Grünewald), the term is primarily associated with the German groups, Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, with post First World War German art and to a lesser extent with the Fauves in France. There were also a number of individuals, working at the same period, who are commonly linked to the movement, including Kokoschka, Rouault, Soutine and Schiele. These artists opposed the naturalism of the Impressionists but were inspired by van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Munch, Ensor and others. They were among the first to appreciate non-European and primitive art forms and also looked to the folk art of their own countries in the belief that spontaneity of feeling was greatest where intellect and training were least.

This exploration led to a strong spiritual element in the work of many Expressionists such as Kandinsky, Rouault and Nolde. It also encouraged an interest in graphic art, particularly woodcuts (Barlach). Despite their links with the past, Expressionists were at the forefront of modernist developments in painting: artists like Marc and Feininger incorporated Cubist elements into their work and Kandinsky produced early examples of abstraction. But their sympathies, as reflected in their subject matter, were anti-modernist: the industrial city was a place of danger and immorality, the First World War was a personal and international disaster, politics, especially in postwar Germany were corrupt. For some, this state of affairs led to escapism into landscape or a discovery of the self, others experienced an alienation akin to that expressed by Dada (Grosz) and later by the Abstract Expressionists. Expressionism has continued to be influential in later 20th century art (Baselitz).

Expressionism was not purely associated with two-dimensional art. Sculptors such as Barlach, Lehmbruck and Kollwitz were motivated by aims similar to those of Expressionist painters. In architecture the language of internationalism was strained and distorted by Mendelsohn, Steiner and in some works by Behrens and Mies van der Rohe. Bertolt Brecht, Sean O'Casey and Franz Kafka also explored comparable ideas in literature.

In all its forms the movement stood out against fascism and this, together with its so called 'degenerate' qualities (it was anti-Aryan and anti-naturalism) led to the persecution of many Expressionist artists under the Nazi regime.

also see:
EyeconArt/Expressioism

German Expressioism

ARTCYCLOPEDIA


Art Movements and Art Periods . A Web Directory/Expresssionism

art general:

Virtual Museum Of Art

ARTCYCLOPEDIA

Robin Urton Eyecon Art

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