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Ernest Ludwig Kirchner - Essay Example

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Ernest Ludwig Kirchner

Their personal styles of work with the great variety of plots and directions were partly a result of their vital activity, including great number of their drawings, lithographs and woodcuts. Kirchner as well as his colleagues was under influence by the African and Oceanic art that is reflected in unusual manner of his works. In 1912, Kirchner became the leader of the group "The Bridge. He and the other artists sought to build a "bridge" between Germany's past and future. "They felt that the art of the current establishment was too academic and refined to retain any degree of expression, so they instead found inspiration in medieval German art and primitive African sculpture. Additionally, they would find inspiration in the emotionally expressive works of Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Munch. Since their primary concern was the expression of deeply felt emotions, they would also transform their negative feelings about the war onto canvas."(3) Kirchner achieved some fame during his lifetime, and he had a number of collectors for his paintings and wood-cuts. His intense work on paintings, woodcuts, and sculpture expanded to include designs for the weaver Lise Guyer and, more importantly, for the decoration of the great hall of the Museum Folkwang in Essen: work never to be completed, since the Nazis seized the museum in 1933. During the Nazi dictatorship, however, his work was denounced (as well as his compatriots) as "degenerate art", and confiscated from museums. He became increasingly depressed by the war and committed suicide on June 15, 1938 after destroying much of his artwork - he was very despondent over the Nazism and its displays. All his life Kirchner was in search for an increasingly simplified form of expression. When the group relocated to Berlin in 1910-11, Kirchner's response to the confrontation with the metropolis resulted in the bold works that epitomize the hectic life in Berlin. In 1917 Kirchner moved to Switzerland, where he was supported by the collector Dr. Carl Hagemann, the architect Henri van de Velde, and the family of his physician, Dr. Spengler. He slowly recovered, while continuing to work on paintings and woodcuts. His works were exhibited in Switzerland and Germany. In 1921 he had fifty works on view at the Kronprinzenpalais (Nationalgalerie) in Berlin, which were praised by critics and established his reputation as the leading expressionist. In 1925-26 he made his first long trip back to Germany. He stayed for a while in Dresden with his biographer, Will Grohmann, and visited the dancer Mary Wigman. In this period of his life he painted one of his significant colour-woodcuts, "Head of Albert Muller". It was signed, annotated and dedicated in black ink and pencil. It is a splendid proof impression printed from two blocks on a yellowish, thick Japan-paper. The work is in excellent and fresh condition. Although it is a second state key-stone, Kirchner annotated it as ,,1ster Handdruck", which probably meant the first impression of this state. The represented painter from Basle, Albert Mller, was a very close friend and pupil of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. He and his family spent several months in the summer of 1925 with Kirchner and worked with him in Frauenkirch. The portrait was probably executed during that time. Albert Mller died of typhus - only 29 years old - in December 1926. Kirchner, who ...Show more


Ernest Ludwig Kirchner (1880 - 1938) was a German artist, a representative of expressionism of the first half of the 20th century. He was one of the founders of the artists group "Die Brucke" or "The Bridge." Although the group of artists lived in a small communal atmosphere in isolation, each artist had different interests and styles perusing in terms of depicting human psych…
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Ernest Ludwig Kirchner essay example
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