German Expressionism

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Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884–1976)

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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.

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884–1976)

Woman's Head (plate 22) from the illustrated book Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (German Printmakers of Our Time)

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1920 (print executed in 1916)
Woodcut from an illustrated book with fifteen lithographs, eight woodcuts, eight reproductions and one lithographed cover
composition: 10 1/16 x 7 1/16" (25.6 x 18 cm); page: 12 11/16 x 9 5/8" (32.2 x 24.5 cm)
Cream, slightly textured, wove.
Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig
Printer of Plates:
Printer of Text:
Julius Klinkhardt, Leipzig
600 (including deluxe edition of 100, numbered 1-100, with a drypoint by Max Beckmann; and a regular edition of 500 [this ex.]); plus unknown number of proofs printed by the artist and one unique print printed by the artist in two colors
Credit Line:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Schapire (W)191. Rifkind 2551. Söhn 108-15.
MoMA Number:
Portraits, Primitivism

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