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German Expressionism

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About this work

Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (German printmakers of our time) brings together woodcuts, lithographs, and reproductions by thirty-one artists representing a cross-section of styles from Impressionism to Expressionism, uniting under a single cover works ranging from naturalistic self-portraits to left-wing political caricatures. It features works by artists associated with the Berlin Secession (an exhibiting society comprised primarily of German Impressionists), with Expressionist groups like the Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, and with the political Novembergruppe, as well as artists like Max Beckmann who were not affliliated with any group.

In his introduction, art historian Kurt Pfister identified Expressionism as the leading force in German art at the time, while stressing the plurality of approaches to style and subject matter that the movement encompassed. Pfister emphasized the openness of German artists to foreign sources, and cited the importance of Paul Cézanne, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso as well as Japanese, Indian, African, and Gothic art for the development of German art. There was a fifty-year difference in age between the oldest artist, Max Liebermann, and the youngest, Conrad Felixmüller, featured in the collection. The volume also included Lyonel Feininger, an American who had lived in Germany since 1896, as well as Austrian artists Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin.

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Conrad Felixmüller (German, 1897–1977)

Self-Portrait (Selbstbildnis) (plate 24) from the illustrated book Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (German Printmakers of Our Time)

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Date:
1920 (print executed 1919)
Medium:
Woodcut from an illustrated book with fifteen lithographs, eight woodcuts, eight reproductions and one lithographed cover
Dimensions:
composition: 9 7/16 x 6 11/16" (24 x 17 cm); page: 12 11/16 x 9 9/16" (32.3 x 24.3 cm)
Paper:
Cream, smooth, wove.
Publisher:
Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig
Printer of Plates:
unknown
Printer of Text:
Julius Klinkhardt, Leipzig
Edition:
600 (including deluxe edition of 100, numbered 1-100, with a drypoint by Max Beckmann; and a regular edition of 500 [this ex.]); plus few (2 or 3) proofs, handprinted by the artist
Credit Line:
Purchase
Copyright:
© 2014 Conrad Felixmüller / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany
Reference:
Söhn 108-17. Söhn 189. Rifkind 610.
MoMA Number:
2.1942.17
Themes:
Portraits, Primitivism
Techniques:
Woodcut

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