Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a leading German Expressionist painter and a founding member of Die Brücke (“The Bridge”). After several years studying architecture, he decided on a career in fine art whilst still at technical school in Dresden. Along with a number of his fellow architectural students, he formed the art group Die Brücke, which aimed to act as a ‘bridge’ to the art of the future. Influenced at first by Post-Impressionist painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, he was increasingly drawn to Matisse‘s Fauvism, with its sharply contrasting colors and ‘primitive’ drawing. Kirchner pushed this aggressive use of line and vivid palette even further, imbuing his seedy urban scenes of street life and music halls with a sense of despair. He also produced groundbreaking woodcut prints inspired by the German Gothic past. In 1937, the Nazis condemned his work in their infamous Degenerate Art Exhibition and within a year he had committed suicide.
“Degenerate” Art in the Time of the Nazis
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