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Expressionism - die Brücke

This portfolio showcases the work of artist group, die Brücke. Founded in Dresden in 1905, the group had a significant impact on the development of German Expressionism. A year following their formation, they issued a manifesto, that drew attention to their goal of bridging the new with the old – a sentiment that was reflected in their name (meaning the Bridge), as well as their method of printing (woodcut). Their work was often a response to the modern age with often featured elements of primitivism, nature, and abstraction. This portfolio brings together work by some of the members of die Brücke, and extends beyond the dates of group itself. As such, it offers the opportunity to approach the work in a comparative way – both across artists, as well as time periods, and trace the influences the group had on the later work of the artists. This portfolio contains many emblematic examples of die Brücke’s work. Ernst Kirchners Two Figures and Erich Heckel’s Sill Life with Figures, for example, are representative of the primitivism that pervades the group’s work. Of particular note is a series of twelve hand-colored woodcuts by Max Pechstein that illustrate The Lord’s Prayer.

Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Seated Peasant (Sitzende Bäuerin)</em><br>1922<br>etching | paper<br>Gift of Gilbert M. Frimet<br>1985/1.99
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Untitled</em><br>20th century<br>crayon | paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2002/2.51
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Swiss Goatherd Walking</em><br>1917<br>graphite | wove paper<br>Gift of the Estate of Helen B. Hall<br>1997/2.27
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Bathing Girls</em><br>1912<br>graphite | paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2000/2.167
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Kühe auf der Weide (Cows in Pasture)</em><br>1880 - 1938<br>India ink and brush | wove paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2000/2.165
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Seated Figures in Room</em><br>1880 - 1938<br>graphite | wove paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2000/2.166
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Two Women</em><br>1880 - 1938<br>graphite | wove paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2000/2.163
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Two Women</em><br>1905 - 1915<br>crayon | wove paper<br>Gift of Herbert Barrows<br>2000/2.164
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Seated Woman (Gerda Schilling)</em><br>1913<br>graphite | off-white satinized paper<br>Museum Purchase<br>1951/2.44
Three figures with canted tabletop set with teapot, carafe, and dishes. A nude figure stands on the right side of the image, representing the ethnographic statue that the artist admired and kept in his studio. Artist's sketch from life; Kirchner developed a rapid, stroke-oriented (as opposed to detail-oriented) sketch style.
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>In the Studio (Erna and Guest)</em><br>1912 - 1913<br>ink | paper<br>Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection<br>2007/2.81
A man and woman embrace in center; the man appears in a dress coat, the woman in a very large hat. She looks out at the viewer, while the man's head is turned to the left. Near the woman's left elbow is the outline of a suggested figure; another embracing couple is outlined to the right. The smaller figures suggest a perspective and size to the space, only suggested through brief lines and indistinct objects on the left. Artist's sketch from life; Kirchner developed a rapid, stroke-oriented (as opposed to detail-oriented) sketch style when out in the world.
Ernst Kirchner<br><em>Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)</em><br>1910<br>graphite | coated wove paper<br>Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection<br>2007/2.82
Ink line drawing of a landscape; gently rolling hills, divided into plots, fill the bottom two-thirds. Brush and/or trees form borders between plots. On the horizon trees, a windmill, and possible buildlings appear. The sky is dotted with clouds.
Erich Heckel<br><em>Landscape</em><br>1919<br>graphite and ink | thin paper<br>Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection<br>2007/2.101


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Part of 2 Learning Collections

58 Collection Object Sources

Untitled (2002/2.51)
Bathing Girls (2000/2.167)
Two Women (2000/2.163)
Two Women (2000/2.164)
Landscape (2007/2.101)
Two Figures (1958/1.139)
Handstand (1956/1.20)
Before the Mirror (1950/1.169)
Akrobaten (1958/1.133)
Portrait (1948/1.76)
Head (2002/2.84)
Landscape (2000/2.193)
Nude (1948/1.422)
Dialogue (1960/2.89)
Sailor (1957/1.108)
Young Gypsy (1949/1.205)
Schriftgelehrte (1949/1.174)
Actress (2007/2.102)
Reclining Nude (2008/2.357)
Girl (1976/2.30)
Rencontre au Bois (1964/2.129)

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Creative Commons by-nc-sa (University of Michigan Museum of Art)

Last Updated

February 7, 2020 2:35 p.m.


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