Expressionism

 

Expressionism was a cultural movement originating in Germany at the start of the 20th-century as a reaction to positivism and other artistic movements such as naturalism and impressionism. It sought to express the meaning of "being alive" and emotional experience rather than physical reality. It is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect, it is a subjective art form. Read more ...

 

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The Scream
Edvard Munch

224 USD

Madonna
Edvard Munch

228 USD

The Dance of Life
Edvard Munch

290 USD

Ashes
Edvard Munch

291 USD

Four Girls in Åsgårdstrand
Edvard Munch

303 USD

The Seine at Saint-Cloud
Edvard Munch

226 USD

Anxiety
Edvard Munch

224 USD

Death in the Sickroom
Edvard Munch

288 USD

Inheritance
Edvard Munch

246 USD

Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine
Edvard Munch

250 USD

Shore with Red House
Edvard Munch

222 USD

Train Smoke
Edvard Munch

223 USD

Adam and Eve
Fernando Botero
226 USD
 
The Dancers
Fernando Botero
218 USD

Flamenco
Fernando Botero
250 USD

Dancers at the Bar
Fernando Botero
220 USD

Composition VIII
Wassily Kandinsky
237 USD

Yellow-Red-Blue
Wassily Kandinsky
233 USD
 
Improvisation 27
Wassily Kandinsky
246 USD

Study for Improvisation V
Wassily Kandinsky
234 USD

Squares with Concentric Circles
Wassily Kandinsky
222 USD

293
Wassily Kandinsky
232 USD

Composition VI
Wassily Kandinsky
270 USD

Aquarell 6
Wassily Kandinsky
238 USD
 
Senecio (Head of a Man)
Paul Klee
230 USD

Red Balloon (Roter Ballon)
Paul Klee
233 USD

Bird Garden
Paul Klee
219 USD

Printed Sheet with Picture
Paul Klee
231 USD

Evening Shows
Paul Klee
217 USD

The End of the Last Act of a Drama
Paul Klee
238 USD
 
Sparse Foliage
Paul Klee
234 USD

The Goldfish
Paul Klee
238 USD

Rokoko
August Macke
255 USD
  

Tightrope Walker
August Macke
215 USD 
 
Street with Church in Kandern
August Macke
215 USD

Portrait of the Artist's Wife with a Hat
August Macke
208 USD 
 
Staudacher's House at the Tegernsee
August Macke
233 USD
 
Tegernsee Landscape
August Macke
230 USD

Landscape on the Tegernsee with a Reading Man
August Macke
232 USD 

St. Mary's with Houses and Chimney (Bonn)
August Macke
228 USD 

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Expressionism was a cultural movement originating in Germany at the start of the 20th-century as a reaction to positivism and other artistic movements such as naturalism and impressionism. It sought to express the meaning of "being alive" and emotional experience rather than physical reality. It is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect, it is a subjective art form.

Expressionism is exhibited in many art forms, including: painting, literature, theatre, film, architecture and music. The term often implies emotional angst. In a general sense, painters such as Matthias Grunewald and El Greco can be called expressionist, though in practice, the term is applied mainly to 20th century works.

Although it is used as a term of reference, there has never been a distinct movement that called itself "expressionism", apart from the use of the term by Herwarth Walden in his polemic magazine Der Sturm in 1912. The term is usually linked to paintings and graphic work in Germany at the turn of the century which challenged the academic traditions, particularly through the Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter groups. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche played a key role in originating modern expressionism by clarifying and serving as a conduit for previously neglected currents in ancient art.

In The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche presented his theory of the ancient dualism between two types of aesthetic experience, namely the Apollonian and the Dionysian, a dualism between the plastic "art of sculpture", of lyrical dream-inspiration, identity (the principium individuationis), order, regularity, and calm repose, and, on the other hand, the non-plastic "art of music", of intoxication, forgetfulness, chaos, and the ecstatic dissolution of identity in the collective. The analogy with the world of the Greek gods typifies the relationship between these extremes: two godsons, incompatible and yet inseparable. According to Nietzsche, both elements are present in any work of art. The basic characteristics of expressionism are Dionysian: bold colours, distorted forms-in-dissolution, two-dimensional, without perspective.

More generally the term refers to art that expresses intense emotion. It is arguable that all artists are expressive but there is a long line of art production in which heavy emphasis is placed on communication through emotion. Such art often occurs during time of social upheaval, and through the tradition of graphic art there is a powerful and moving record of chaos in Europe from the 15th century on the Protestant Reformation, Peasants' War, Eight Years' War, Spanish Occupation of the Netherlands, the rape, pillage and disaster associated with countless periods of chaos and oppression are presented in the documents of the printmaker. Often the work is unimpressive aesthetically, but almost without exception has the capacity to move the viewer to strong emotions with the drama and often horror of the scenes depicted.

The term was also coined by Czech art historian Antonin Matejcek in 1910 as the opposite of impressionism: "An Expressionist wishes, above all, to express himself....(An Expressionist rejects) immediate perception and builds on more complex psychic structures.... Impressions and mental images that pass through mental peoples soul as through a filter which rids them of all substantial accretions to produce their clear essence [...and] are assimilated and condense into more general forms, into types, which he transcribes through simple short-hand formulae and symbols." (Gordon, 1987)

The movement primarily originated in Germany and Austria. There were a number of Expressionist groups in painting, including the Blaue Reiter and Die Brucke. The Der Blaue Reiter group was based in Munich and Die Brucke was based originally in Dresden (although some later moved to Berlin). Die Brucke was active for a longer period than Der Blaue Reiter which was only truly together for a year (1912). The Expressionists had many influences, among them Munch, Vincent van Gogh, and African art. They also came to know the work being done by the Fauves in Paris.

Influenced by the Fauves, Expressionism worked with arbitrary colors as well as jarring compositions. In reaction and opposition to French impressionism which focused on rendering the sheer visual appearance of objects, Expressionist artists sought to capture emotions and subjective interpretations: It was not important to reproduce an aesthetically pleasing impression of the artistic subject matter, the Expressonists focused on capturing vivid emotional reactions through powerful colors and dynamic compositions instead. The leader of Der Blaue Reiter, Kandinsky, would take this a step further. He believed that with simple colors and shapes the spectator could perceive the moods and feelings in the paintings, therefore he made the move to abstraction.

Expressionist imagery exploded into modern art from the subconscious. Its divers formal means and emotional effects range from anguish to exuberance. As the powerful, personal creations of modern individuals, these images have little in common except their inventive power and their reliance upon a distinctly private vision.

In late 1939, at the beginning of World War II, New York welcomed a great number of leading European artists.

The heritage of their interest in the mythic realm of the unconscious would be continued-and extended-by another group of younger, New World artists-New York School.

American Expressionism and American Figurative Expressionism particularly the Boston figurative expressionism were an integral part of American modernism around the Second World War.

Major figurative Boston expressionists included: Karl Zerbe, Hyman Bloom, Jack Levine, David Aronson, Philip Guston. The Boston figurative expressionists post World War II were increasingly marginalized by the development of abstract expressionism centered in New York City.

Later in the 20th century, after World War II, figurative expressionism influenced worldwide a large number of artists and movements.