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Copy of German Expressionist Art Movement: A Graphical Timeline

This application project was done for my WRT202 class on the effects that WWI had on the German Expressionist painters within the movement.

Ross Melles

on 5 May 2013

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Transcript of Copy of German Expressionist Art Movement: A Graphical Timeline

German Expressionist art was characterized by artists who wanted to show their innermost emotions about the world around them. They created not with the intention of showing their subject matter as how they saw it in real life, but how the subject matter changed their emotions and affected them. They painted this by using vivid colors and bold, dark contrasting lines, sometimes creating seemingly unnatural poses in human characters and visual discord. Because of this showcasing of their true emotions on subjects, the German Expressionist movement was a prime example on how politics affect art movements. World War I changed their art. In fact, World War I was the dominant influence on the artists of the German Expressionist movement in the early twentieth century. Weisses Haus in Dangast (Erich Heckel, 1908) Wrestlers in a Circus (Ernst Kirchner, 1909) Cover of Der Blaue Reiter Almanac (1912) The Tower of Blue Horses (Franz Marc, 1913) Painting with White Border (Wassily Kandinsky, 1913) View into a Lane (August Macke, 1914) Self-Portrait with Hat (Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, 1914) Fighting Forms (Franz Marc, 1914) Artillerymen (Ernst Kirchner, 1915) Self Portrait as a Soldier (Ernst Kirchner, 1915) War Cripples (Otto Dix, 1920) Stormtroops Advance Under Gas (Otto Dix, 1924) 1908 - “Weisses Haus in Dangast” was painted by one of the original members of “Die Brücke,” Erich Heckel. “Weisses Haus in Dangast,” which means, White House in Dangast, was painted during one of the many trips that Erich took to the northern coast of Dangast. He enjoyed the natural beauty within Dangast, and often painted landscapes portraying this serenity. Although the piece is Expressionist in nature, it encompasses many of the influences brought from the French Fauvist art movement. 1909 - Ernst Kirchner’s “Wrestlers in a Circus” is a perfect example of pre-war German Expressionist art as it uses vivid coloring, odd and unnatural shapes, and heavy contrasting colors. Together these aspects portray the excitement of the carnival scene. Around 1908, Kirchner began painting circus performers in the Expressionist style which was when he found his favorite subjects to be snake charmers, acrobats, and wrestlers. 1912 - “Cover of ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ Almanac” was painted by the members of the group. The goal of the piece was to serve a practical purpose as the cover of their almanac containing important information about their group, and also to show their group in an Expressionist style. 1913 - “The Tower of Blue Horses,” by Franz Marc, encompasses many of his personal ideals he used throughout many of his German Expressionist pieces. Marc believed in using a certain color theory in many of his paintings depicting animals. In this specific painting, the use of the color blue on the horses emphasizes them as strong, and masculine creatures, however, through his composition of the piece, he portrays them still as elegant and spiritual. 1913 - “Painting with a White Border,” by Wassily Kandinsky, portrays a very abstract landscape in which horses are shown unable to continue on their journey to their goal. This painting was intended to portray an emotion Kandinsky was unable to convey through words. It was meant to deliver a message into the greatest depths of anyone’s mind who looked at it. 1914 - During a trip to Tunisia, August Macke was in awe by the beauty of the surrounding area and the exotic atmosphere of this foreign new place. He recorded his emotions in the painting “View into a Lane,” which is quite different from many of the other Expressionist paintings as it was done in watercolor while works from other Expressionist painters were done in oil paints. This piece has often been classified as both German Expressionist and Fauvist in nature. 1914 - Schmidt-Rottluff’s “Self-Portrait with Hat” shows the beginning of the transformation within many of the German Expressionist painters brought about by the start of World War I. This piece shows how Schmidt-Rottluff viewed himself after his front-line experience and his many emotions brought about by it. The shading on his face and distorted features show his distaste towards his experiences and the way he viewed himself after his actions. 1914 - “Fighting Forms” shows the transformation within Marc’s style of painting. After his experience in war, he began depicting many of his paintings as bizarre and confusing while previously they were serene and showed scenes of beauty and nature. Marc’s paintings became increasingly confusing up until the end of 1914, when he was killed in war. 1915 - “Artilleryman,” by Ernst Kirchner, depicts his change in subject matter brought about by the war. The picture shows Kirchner’s overwhelming sense of vulnerability upon being drafted into the war and his experiences within the army. Within the painting, the naked, powerless soldiers are lowly individuals while the clothed officer holds all superiority over the group. 1915 - Kirchner’s “Self-Portrait as a Soldier” was painted after the artist was drafted into the war and later released being described as unfit for war due to lung problems and general weakness. He painted this self-portrait to act as a “metaphorical autobiography” in which he recorded his constant fear of the effects of war on himself as an artist and a human being. 1918-1919 - This political poster was created by German Expressionist artist Heinz Fuchs. Prior to the German elections of 1919, government officials, for the first time, looked towards the German Expressionist painters to portray horrific images in hopes of spreading a message to the general population. This poster warns “Workers, hunger and death draw near; Strike destroys, work feeds; Do your duty, work.” 1920 - Otto Dix’s “War Cripples” shows how much the German Expressionist painters were changed over the years. The painting attacked the military for destroying his generation, the public and the viewer for their fascination in the wounded, and the cripples themselves for their unchanged national pride. 1924 - “Stormtroops Advance under Gas,” by Otto Dix, portrays unsettling images of the corrupt and socially apathetic German troopers. This painting shows Dix’s distrust in the German ideals of the time and was made in response to the horrors of World War I and its aftermath. Political Poster(Heinz Fuchs, 1918) A graphical timeline that showing the change of subject matter
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