Masterworks of German Expressionism

Nov 14, 2002–Apr 14, 2003


Max Pechstein. Dancers (Pair of Dancers). 1909. Lithograph, 20 7/8 × 16 15/16″ (53 × 43 cm). Publisher and printer: the artist, Berlin. Edition: unique impression of the second (final) state. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Scott Sassa Fund, The Philip and Lynn Straus Foundation Fund, Richard A. Epstein Fund, Miles O. Epstein Fund, Sarah C. Epstein Fund, Nelson Blitz Fund, and Frances Keech Fund

This exhibition of approximately twenty prints highlights the work of several artists who participated in the German Expressionist movement during the first quarter of the twentieth century. It includes examples by members of the Expressionist group Brücke, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, and Max Pechstein, who sought to heighten the emotional impact of their subjects through sharp distortions of form and color. Also featured are works by artists active after World War I, such as Max Beckmann and Käthe Kollwitz, who found that the bold, graphic use of black-and-white printmaking perfectly suited their stark, socially critical imagery. Printmaking was of central importance to the Expressionists, as the artists used it to communicate their ideas to the broadest possible audience. The installation, which includes several recent acquisitions, is drawn entirely from the Museum’s exceptionally strong collection of German Expressionist prints and illustrated books.

Organized by Starr Figura, Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.




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