Künstlergruppe Brücke, Dresden
Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Artists group established in 1905 by four young architecture students, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, in Dresden; later joined by Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, and Otto Mueller. Questioned traditional approaches to art and artistic education. Painted in pure, vibrant colors, simplifying form and embracing primitivist style. Cultivated experimental approach to print mediums. Collapsed division between artist, printer, dealer, and publisher by insisting on printing and publishing their prints themselves, and using prints to market their ideas and to finance their work. Recruited "passive members" sponsors and patrons who received an annual print portfolio in return for their subscription. Published altogether seven portfolios created between 1906 and 1912, issued in edition sizes that varied according to the number of passive members in a given year. Also designed, often hand-printed, and collectively published a variety of group ephemera, such as the Brücke program, signets, letterheads, exhibition catalogues and posters, invitation cards, and a membership index and annual report. By 1911 the major Brücke artists had moved to Berlin, where increasing success and competition resulted in destabilization of group cohesion; an announcement of the groups dissolution in 1913 was its last collectively issued document.
Hoffmann, Meike. Leben und Schaffen der Künstlergruppe Brücke 1905 bis 1913: Mit einem kommentierten Werkverzeichnis der Geschäfts- und Ausstellungsgraphik. Berlin: Reimer, 2005.
Moeller, Magdalena M., et al. Dokumente der Künstlergruppe Brücke. Munich: Hirmer, 2007.