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Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)

Accession Number
2007/2.82

Title
Dancing Couple (Dodo and Partner)

Artist(s)
Ernst Kirchner

Object Creation Date
1910

Medium & Support
graphite on coated wove paper

Dimensions
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
Couple
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)
1910
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
Drawing

Primary Object Type
life drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
couples
dance halls

4 Related Resources

All Artists in the Degenerate Art Show
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Decadence
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
Expressionism - die Brücke
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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