German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse
March 27–July 11, 2011
Kirchner created this painting in a period of loneliness and insecurity shortly after the Brücke group disbanded in 1913. It shows two well-dressed prostitutes strolling the streets, surrounded by furtively glancing men. For Kirchner, the prostitute was a symbol of the modern city, where glamour and danger, and intimacy and alienation necessarily coexisted, and everything was for sale. The intense, clashing colors heighten the excitement and anxiety, and the tilted horizon destabilizes the scene.