Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)

Accession Number

Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)

Ernst Kirchner

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
graphite on coated wove paper

13 1/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. ( 33.66 cm x 27.31 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection

Label copy
George Grosz
Germany, 1893–1959
circa 1915
Ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.109
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)
Graphite on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.82
Urban social spaces emerged as both fascinating and frightening scenes of sexuality for Expressionists. Grosz often utilized café tables as symbols of the isolating distance between men and women, heightened by their positions only feet from each other.
While Grosz focused on his subjects’ isolation and anonymity—the woman of Couple lacks all facial features—Kirchner favored the physical contact between men and women. In Dancing Couple he draws the pairs of dancers without clear beginnings and endings, as if each couple were a single entity.

Subject matter
Central dancing couple in a large dance hall, the woman looking at the viewer over the man's shoulder. The woman's large hat and side-parted dark hair identifies her as Dodo (Doris Grohse), Kirchner's girlfriend in Dresden and a frequent model. The man is likely also a portrait of a friend, as yet unidentified. See listings in Authorities, and copies of other works in object file.

Physical Description
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.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
life drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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dance halls

& Author Notes

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