GER 341, 342, 343 HomepageOregon State University


A few words on Expressionism from contemporary commentators:

Hermann Bahr: Expressionism:

Never was any period so shaken by horror, by such dread. Never had the world been so deathly silent. Never had man felt so small. Never had he been so afraid. His misery cries out to heaven; man cries for his soul. The whole period becomes one long cry for help. Art cries out, too, cries in the depths of darkness, cries for the spirit: that is Expressionism.

Herbert Kühn:
Expressionism in relation to Impressionism:

The aim of Impressionism was the object it represented: what he could see on the picture was also the meaning of the picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. With the imitation of something external, its universe was restricted to what was concrete. With Expressionism, the subject to be represented and the object itself, the representation, were fully dissociated from one another. This representation was no longer what was being represented. This representation (the concrete element) was only an invitation to understand what was being represented. To a certain extent, what was being represented began beyond the picture, the drama, or the poem.

Maler des Expressionismus (2 Hauptgruppen):

Die Brücke (Dresden - circa 1905 - 1913):

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976)
Erich Heckel (1883-1970)
Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956)

Der Blaue Reiter(Munich - circa 1909-1919):

Franz Marc (1880-1916)
Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944); also Vassily
August Macke (1887-1914)
Alexei Jawlensky (1864-1941)

Nicht in einer Gruppe:

Emil Nolde (1867-1956)
Historischer Hintergrund.
Expressionismus, Impressionismus, Naturalismus, Symbolismus.
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