German Expressionism

German Expressionism
German Expressionism

Expressionism arose as a reaction against impressionism and it was in Germany where it fully developed. Expressionism, more than an artistic style, was a very committed movement that faced a reality with which it did not agree and that occurred in all spheres, art, literature, cinema or music.

From the artistic point of view there was an opposition, as was the case with other avant-garde movements, to the use of traditional forms and spaces and an approach to reality was sought.

The group Die Brücke (The Bridge), was established in 1905 in Dresden, founded by Kirchner, Bleyl, Heckel and Schmidt-Rottluff, all of them were architecture students but abandoned this career to dedicate themselves fully to painting. The following year Nolde and Pechstein and Van Dongen joined the group, and in 1910 Otto Müller did so.

The influences on their art were varied, since they studied in depth the Germanic traditions and their most representative authors Dürer or Cranch, thus they used xylography (engraving on wood), with a great tradition in that country, technique to the one that also applied color and that influenced the formal aspect of the works and that were translated into angular and contrasting shapes on a two-dimensional background. On the other hand, there were also influences from the Viennese Secession or authors such as Van Gogh and African sculpture andoceanic.

Within the objectives of the group was the destruction of the rules and the search for spontaneity in the creative act. Above all, for them, art was something subjective that totally depended on its creator, in which the important thing was the idea. Thus, they used very simplified and deformed forms together with very contrasting colors in order to try to better convey the internal value of things.

The group was dissolved in 1913.

The expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), emerged in 1911, founded by Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and formed by artists such as Paul Klee and Von Jawlensky.

In 1912 Kandisnsky and Marc published the magazine Der Blaue Reiter, this almanac was for both the place where artists, writers, etc., contributed to the destruction of the limits that had been created in art throughout the centuries.

Although there were points that connected him with The Bridge, such as the study and influence of primitive arts The Blue Rider, was much less rebellious than the previous one. Thus, they sought, from lyricism, the purification of the form until reaching the essence.

Marc expressed himself in this way: “Everything has its shell and core, appearance and essence, mask and truth. That we reach only the shell instead of the essence of things… very soon I felt the man as a brute.”

To get to the essence of things, deformation was not necessary, as the members of El Puente did, but it was about freeing the form from all the superficiality thatcovered.

This search for the essence was increasingly expressed in the schematism of forms and color contrast, although the latter in a more subtle way. Kandisnsky thus began to suppress any link with the objective world, reaching abstraction.

The last exhibition of the group took place in 1914, being dissolved with the war.

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