EXPRESSIONISM 3 Individual approaches to Expressionism: Paula Modherson Becker Katthe Kollwitz Max Beckmann Gustav Klimt Egon Schiele
<ul><li>Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907) </li></ul><ul><li>Died at 31yrs. 1 Decade to develop her art. Only sold 3 paintings and held 3 exhibitions, though she produced more than 400 paintings. </li></ul><ul><li>Around 1889 she becomes involved with an artist colony known as Worpswede . These colonies rejected the world of Academic art and industrial society to hold on to the roots of German culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Visits Paris in 1900 (6 months) –meets Nolde. While in France she becomes influenced by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1903 she attends a free academy for women and begins to feel that the naked human body symbolises the idea of the soul laid bare –that there was something open and honest about the naked form. </li></ul><ul><li>The subjects she chooses, primarily women, is aiming to express a universality. She writes, “I say God and by that I mean the spirit which pervades nature, the spirit of which I too form a tiny part.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Paula Modersohn-Becker </li></ul><ul><li>What are her influences? </li></ul><ul><li>Found the peasants worthy and dignified subjects to paint because they embodied the ideology of Worspede . </li></ul><ul><li>The idea of growth and development occurs again and again throughout her work: in still lives, portraits of children, self portraits (pregnant and as a mother). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her style of capturing motherhood and the role of women was concurrent with books such as Woman, Past, Present and Future. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Colours don’t have the same radical values of other Expressionist artists. Focus more on simplifying form. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Kathe Kollwitz (1867 - 1945) </li></ul><ul><li>Her work expresses the social and political issues present at start of the 20 th century; she was motivatee by her own experience of social injustice under Kaiser Wilhelm II and WW I. </li></ul><ul><li>She was born in Easter Prussia and moved to Berlin. Tried to study in Munich but women weren’t accepted into art academies. </li></ul><ul><li>She was quite focused on Socialism and Feminism, she has discovered August Bebel’s Woman and Socialism (1879). </li></ul><ul><li>Early art influences include Max Klinger who had written that drawing and printmaking could represent the darker aspects of life better than painting. </li></ul><ul><li>Married a socialist doctor who worked in working class suburbs of Berlin. </li></ul><ul><li>Her work has a realist style, which made her work accessable to everyone --> not interested in abstracting forms like other Expressionists because she wanted work to be inclusive. </li></ul>From the Eve and the Future 1880
<ul><li>Unlike Modersohn-Becker’s robust and monumental depictions of motherhood, Kollwitz’s imagery is devoted to describing the human condition. Her work appeals on behalf of the working poor, the suffering, the dying and the grieving. </li></ul><ul><li>She wrote: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Middle class people held no appeal for me at all. Bourgeois life as a whole seemed to me pedantic. The proletariat, on the other had, had a grandness of manner, a breadth to their lives. I have never been able to see beauty in the upper class, educated person; he's superficial; he's not natural or true; he's not honest; and he's not a human being in every sense of the word.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Her works depict the disastrous social conditions of the 1920s - inflation, strikes, malnutrition (though never gets involved with politics through her art). However, her work does get used a lot by communist and other left-wing groups because of the universality of her work. </li></ul><ul><li>Kollwitz’ work is unique in that while expressionistic, it doesn’t show the inner torment of the artist, rather it is a portrait of the society she is a part of. </li></ul>Kathe Kollwitz - Final Notes
<ul><li>Max Beckmann (1884-1950) </li></ul><ul><li>1905-1950, he created more than 800 paintings and hundreds of prints and drawings. He began to study art at 15 years old at the academy in Weimar. </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by the Impressionists early in his career (esp. Manet), which causes him to lighten his palette. </li></ul><ul><li>For a while creates large history paintings (similar to the French Romantics) until he went to Florence on a scholarship and starts painting religious subjects (crucifix) and contemporary paintings. </li></ul><ul><li>Interestingly because of his Academy background he felt that art needed to be monumental, three-dimensional, and spiritual (like the masters of old) and had an argument via a magazine with Marc. Beckmann argues that Matisse and Gauguin were merely decorative. </li></ul><ul><li>1914 volunteers for military service in WWI. Lives amongst horror/death for 1 year –turning point in his life. 1915 Suffers a nervous breakdown –discharges from military service. Makes complete break from past. </li></ul>Max Beckmann Self-Portrait Woodcut, 1922 230 x 153 mm
<ul><li>B/t 1916-1917 he starts to paint religious subjects and his colour palette becomes cool, form more linear, angular and distorted, perspective distorts, paint application becomes thinner, and refers to Gothic models/ Grundwald. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>As a student of Nietzsche he felt that there was something inherently wrong with the materialism that his society was consumed with. He also was interested in mysticism and occult readings and his art emphasises that the soul is trapped in the body. This theory comes out in his Hell Series and we see his attempt to express his frustration with the restrictions that tied the individual creative soul to a decayed and corrupted reality. </li></ul><ul><li>When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Beckmann lost his teaching position in Frankfurt and moves to Berlin. In 1937, his work was included in the Nazis’ exhibition of so-called “degenerate art.” The day after the show opened in July in Munich, the artist left Germany for Amsterdam, where he remained until 1947. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Beckmann’s use of symbols / icons </li></ul><ul><li>In his works such as Family Picture we see a multitude of symbols and icons which tend to be a puzzle to us. </li></ul><ul><li>Plates, flutes, violins, funnel-shaped horns, candles, fish and lamps pervade his paintings. Some argue that the candle (that is burnt out) has been used as the traditional symbol of death. While the lit candle and the lamps are used as methods of shedding light on the human drama. </li></ul><ul><li>The musical instruments represent the song of life. </li></ul><ul><li>We also see the pictorial space foreshortened, distorted, deformed and compressed (eg. the way people are painted or the way that the rooms that they are in seem to close around them) portray human misery, the altered human psyche, the individual alone, solitary in the company of others, in other words disengaged. </li></ul>
Paul Klee 1879-1940 <ul><li>Swiss-born painter, watercolourist and etcher. Moved to Munich in 1898 to study painting. </li></ul><ul><li>Associated with the Der Blaue Reiter group and close friend to Marc. Shared the Blaue Reiter’s aim to express the world of inner experience. He wrote: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t love animals with an earthly warmth. I tend rather to dissolve into the whole of the creation and am then on a footing of brotherliness to my neighbours, to all things earthly.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He shared Kandinsky’s interest in spirituality and colour theory, but his work always related back to nature. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1912 travels to Paris and his work begins to take on more of a Cubist approach with non-representational colours (Delaunay). </li></ul><ul><li>His interest in Der Blaue Reiter’s mysticism enabled him to loosen up his drawing. </li></ul><ul><li>Later taught with him at the prestigious Bahaus school in the 20/30’s. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Before the outbreak of WWI, Klee and Macke travelled to Tunisa, where he began painting in full colour for the first time. His travels there would have an impact on his art of the rest of his career. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His works from N.Africa are painted in almost transparent layers (possibly due to his interest in visualizing dreams and psychic experiences). The works only have minute detail, while the rest of the picture is comprised of geometric shapes and forms. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Like many other German Expressionists, many of his works fell under the definition of “Degenerate Art” during the Nazi regime and he flees Germany, giving up a teaching post at Dusseldorf Academy. </li></ul><ul><li>Klee described the artist’s role as like that of a tree, drawing from nature but expressing it in an individual way. He argued that children’s art was more closer to nature as it had not been rationally organised . </li></ul>Hammamet with Its Mosque , 1914 Watercolor and pencil on paper (20.6 x 19.4 cm)
<ul><li>"Colour has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever ... Colour and I are one. I am a painter." </li></ul><ul><li>Klee begins to apply this concept. </li></ul><ul><li>In these works there is: </li></ul><ul><li>a unity of colour and form. </li></ul><ul><li>A synthesis of architectural constructions and pictorial construction. </li></ul>
PAUL KLEE Lacks the intense feeling of Pablo Picasso ’s work. Or the formal mastery of Matisse . Klee’s ideas about pictorial space derive from Delaunay ’s work, notably his windows series. Like Kandinsky , Klee valued the “primitive” and especially the art of children . He admired the freedom, innocence and directness of their work. Both Kandinsky and Klee saw a connection between painting and music – seeking a visual art that could communicate emotion as clearly as music. Klee’s spidery exact line and scratching around the edges of his fantasy is full of post cubist overlaps.
<ul><li>Austrian painter who founded the school of painting known as the Vienna Sezession. </li></ul><ul><li>His work embodies high-keyed erotic, psychological, and aesthetic pre-occupations. </li></ul>Gustav Klimt 1862-1918
<ul><li>The primal forces of sexuality, regeneration, love and death form the dominant themes of Klimt’s work. </li></ul><ul><li>His Femme fatales personify the dark side of sexual attraction. </li></ul><ul><li>Klimt’s art draws on a number of sources: </li></ul><ul><li>Art Nouveau. </li></ul><ul><li>Edvard Munch. </li></ul><ul><li>Classical greek, Byzantine, Eygyptian and Minoan art. </li></ul><ul><li>(Byzantine influence of use of gold and silver leaf.) </li></ul><ul><li>Late medieval painting and the woodcuts of Albrecht Durer. </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesises these sources with individuality and extreme elegance. </li></ul><ul><li>Intensified colour and heightened sense of stylisation characterised by decorative function. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Was regarded by many of his contemporaries as the pre-destined successor to Gustav Klimt. </li></ul><ul><li>Fascinating but not wholly admirable character. </li></ul><ul><li>Madness/Alienation and incest mark family background. Victim mentality. </li></ul>Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Austrian Painter
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