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Expressionism - Movements in Modern Art
Expressionism - Movements in Modern Art

German Expressionism: Art & Society
German Expressionism: Art & Society

Express Yourself!: Activities And Adventures in Expressionism
Express Yourself!: Activities And Adventures in Expressionism

The Birth of Tragedy - Nietzsche
The Birth of Tragedy - Nietzsche

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Expressionism Art History Posters & Prints, “K...-L...-”
for history of art and social studies classrooms.

art > Expressionism > a-j | K-L | m | n-z < abstract expressionism < art education resource links < social studies

Expressionist Artists ~

Wassily Kandinsky
Ernst Kirchner

Paul Klee
Oskar Kokoschka

Kathe Kollwitz
Wilhelm Lehmbruck

click on image for details...
Wassily Kandinsky, Aquarellentwurf, 1914, Giclee Print
Composition VIII, 1923,
Giclee Print

Wassily Kandinsky
b. 12-4-1866; Moscow, Russia
d. 12-13-1944; France

Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract art, was also a skilled musician who saw color when he listened to music, and believed color could visually express music’s timber, pitch and volume. Trained in the legal profession, Kandinsky began his art studies at age 30 after seeing Monet’s “Haystacks”.

Kandinsky was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter group.

• more 20th C. Art Masterpieces
Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky quotes ~
• “I value those artists who embody the expression their life.”
• “Almost without exception, blue refers to the domain of abstraction and immateriality.”
• “In the hierarchy of colors, green represents the social middle class, self-satisfied, immovable, narrow... ”
• “Absolute green is the most restful color, lacking any undertone of joy, grief, or passion. On exhausted men this restfulness has a beneficial effect, but after a time it becomes tedious.”
• “A parallel between color and music can only be relative – just as a violin can give warm shades of tone, so yellow has shades, which can be expressed by various instruments.”
• “When I was thirteen or fourteen I bought a paintbox with oil paints from money slowly saved up. The feeling I had at the time – or better – the experience of color coming slowly out of the tube – is with me to this day.”
• “In place of an intensive cooperation among artists, there is a battle for goods. Hatred, partisanship, cliques, jealousy, and intrigues are the natural consequences of an aimless, materialist art.”
• “All methods are sacred if they are internally necessary. All methods are sins if they are not justified by internal necessity.”
• “Every man who steeps himself in the spiritual possibilities of his heart is a valuable helper in the building of the spiritual pyramid which will someday reach to heaven.”
• “Every work of art is the child of its time; each period produces an art of its own, which cannot be repeated.”

Davos, Ernst Kirchner, Art Print
Ernst Kirchner,
Art Print

Ernst Kirchner
b. 5-6-1880; Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, Germany
d. 6-15-1938 (suicide - PTSD WWI)

Painter and printmaker Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who began his studies as an architecture student, was one of the founders of Die Brücke or “The Bridge” in 1905, a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th century art.

At the beginning of the First World War Kirchner volunteered for military service, but was discharged in 1915 after suffering a nervous breakdown. He recovered in sanatoriums in the Alps.

In 1933 the Nazi's declared Kirchner's work “degenerate” and in 1937 over 600 of his works in German public museums were sold or destroyed. The psychological traumas of his life, along with the Nazi occupation of Austria, led to his suicide.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner quotes ~
• “Dear Van de Velde writes today that I ought to return to modern life. For me this is out of the question. Nor do I regret it.... The delights the world affords are the same everywhere, differing only in their outer forms. Here one learns how to see further and go deeper than in ‘modern’ life, which is generally so very much more superficial despite its wealth of outer forms.” Letter from Davos, July 3, 1919

Im Bachschen Stil, 1919, Paul Klee, Art Print
Im Bachschen Stil,
1919, Paul Klee,
Art Print

Paul Klee
b. 12-18-1879; Münchenbuchsee bei Bern, Switzerland
d. 6-29-1940; Muralto

Paul Klee's work ranges through Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, and Surrealism. He also was a master of color theory, a teacher at the Bauhaus, and a member of Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four).

Paul Klee quotes ~
• “First of all, the art of living; then as my ideal profession, poetry and philosophy, and as my real profession, plastic arts; in the last resort, for lack of income, illustrations.”
• “Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.”
• “Children also have artistic ability, and there is wisdom in there having it! The more helpless they are, the more instructive are the examples they furnish us; and they must be preserved free of corruption from an early age.”
• “Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. that is the meaning of this happy hour: cor and I ar one. I am a painter.”
• “Becoming is superior to being.”
• “A line is a dot that went for a walk.”
• “Light and the rational forms are locked in combat; light sets them into motion, bends what is straight, makes parallels oval, inscribes circles in the intervals, makes the intervals active.”
• “The creation lives as genesis beneath the visible surface of the work. All intelligent people see this after the fact, but only the creative see it before the fact – in the future.”
• “My hand is entirely the implement of a distant sphere. It is not my head that functions but something else, something higher, something somewhere remote. I must have great friends there, dark as well as bright... They are all very kind to me.”

View of Prague, Oskar Kokoschka, Art Print
View of Prague,
Oskar Kokoschka,
Art Print

Oskar Kokoschka
b. 3-1-1886; Pöchlarn, Austria
d. 2-22-1980; Montreux, Switzerland

Artist, poet and playwright Oskar Kokoschka is best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. He also had an intense affair with Alma Mahler, the widow of composer Gustav Mahler, before she married architect Walter Gropius. Alma was the inspiration of Kokoschka's painting Bride of the Wind. The painting's title was the inspiration for a 2001 movie about Kokoschka and Mahler.

Oskar Kokoschka quotes ~
• “The most fundamental in me is coming uppermost, and the transient, the sensational, is dispersing, because it can't adversely influence what is essential to me.”

Kathe Kollwitz, Photographic Print
the Kollwitz, Photographic Print

Käthe Kollwitz
b. 7-8-1867; Königsberg, Prussia
d. 4-22-1945; Moritzburg, Germany

Käthe Kollwitz is best remembered for her drawings, lithography and woodcut prints. Her work evolved from Naturalism portraying details accurately, to Expressionism evoking her personal responses to the tragedies in her life.

Käthe Kollwitz quotes ~
• “Genius can probably run on ahead and seek out new ways. But the good artists who follow after genius – and I count myself among these – have to restore the lost connection once more.”
• “No longer diverted by other emotions, I work the way a cow grazes.”
• “I want to cultivate the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.”
• “To this day I do not know whether the power which has inspired my works is something related to religion, or is indeed religion itself.”
• “Look at life with the eyes of a child.”
• “While I drew, and wept along with the terrified children I was drawing, I really felt the burden I am bearing. I felt that I have no right to withdraw from the responsibility of being an advocate. It is my duty to voice the suffering of men, the never-ending sufferings heaped mountain-high.”
• “For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.”

Prints and Drawings of Kathe Kollwitz

The Prayer, sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Giclee Print
The Prayer, sculpture
by Wilhelm Lehmbruck,
Giclee Print

Wilhelm Lehmbruck
b. 1-3-1881; Duisburg, Germany
d. 3-25-1919; Berlin (suicide)

Sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck , whose work is rememince of the Gothic, concentrated on the human body. Lehmbruck was acquainted with Modigliani and Brancusi during his time in Paris (1910-1914).

At the outbreak of WW I he served as a paramedic at a military hospital in Berlin, then fled to Zurich.

Wilhelm Lehmbruck quotes ~
• “Sculpture is the essence of things, the essence of nature, that which is perpetually human.”
• “Every work of art must retain something from the first days of creation, something of the smell of earth, or one could even say: something animate.”

Wilhelm Lehmbruck: Life and Work

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