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German Expressionism

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THE COLLECTION

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From the portfolio

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  • Erich Heckel. Title page from the portfolio (Titelblatt aus der Mappe) Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1921
    Title page from the portfolio...
    1921
    Erich Heckel. Title page from the portfolio (Titelblatt aus der Mappe) Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1921
  • Erich Heckel. Table of contents from the portfolio (Inhaltsverzeichnis aus der Mappe) Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1921
    Table of contents from the portfolio...
    1921
    Erich Heckel. Table of contents from the portfolio (Inhaltsverzeichnis aus der Mappe) Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1921
  • Erich Heckel. Woman Kneeling Near a Rock (Kniende am Stein) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1913 (published 1921)
    Woman Kneeling Near a Rock (Kniende am...
    1913 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Woman Kneeling Near a Rock (Kniende am Stein) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1913 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Siblings (Geschwister) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1913 (published 1921)
    Siblings (Geschwister) from the...
    1913 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Siblings (Geschwister) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1913 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Crouching Woman (Hockende) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts (Elf Holzschnitte). (1913), dated 1914, (published 1921)
    Crouching Woman (Hockende) from the...
    (1913), dated 1914, (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Crouching Woman (Hockende) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts (Elf Holzschnitte). (1913), dated 1914, (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Two Wounded Soldiers (Zwei Verwundete) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1914 (published 1921)
    Two Wounded Soldiers (Zwei Verwundete)...
    1914 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Two Wounded Soldiers (Zwei Verwundete) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1914 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Driving Snow (Schneetreiben) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1914 (published 1921)
    Driving Snow (Schneetreiben) from the...
    1914 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Driving Snow (Schneetreiben) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1914 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Man on a Plain (Mann in der Ebene) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1917 (published 1921)
    Man on a Plain (Mann in der Ebene)...
    1917 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Man on a Plain (Mann in der Ebene) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1917 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Young Man (Jüngling) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1917 (published 1921)
    Young Man (Jüngling) from the...
    1917 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Young Man (Jüngling) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1917 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Girl by the Sea (Mädchen am Meer) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1918 (published 1921)
    Girl by the Sea (Mädchen am Meer)...
    1918 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Girl by the Sea (Mädchen am Meer) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1918 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. Women on the Beach (Frauen am Strand) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1919 (published 1921)
    Women on the Beach (Frauen am Strand)...
    1919 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. Women on the Beach (Frauen am Strand) from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1919 (published 1921)
  • Erich Heckel. A.N. from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1919 (published 1921)
    A.N. from the portfolio Eleven...
    1919 (published 1921)
    Erich Heckel. A.N. from the portfolio Eleven Woodcuts, 1912-1919 (Elf Holzschnitte, 1912-1919). 1919 (published 1921)

About the portfolio

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

These eleven woodcuts, made after the dissolution of the Brücke group in 1913, cover a range of themes: nature, nudes, portraits, and war. Despite the various subjects, the prints all share a somber mood that reflects the economic and political uncertainty of the times. Heckel puts this sense of foreboding in visual terms through Expressionist manipulations of space and stark contrasts of black and white. Abrupt cropping and the narrow, vertical format heighten the feelings of oppression and tension. Even when placed in a sweeping landscape, figures are compressed into a tight space.

The dark background seems to collapse around the figure in Man in der Ebene (Man on a plain); bound in on all sides, he has no place else to go. Zwei Verwundete (Two wounded soldiers) shows two men waiting in a cramped room, unable to escape the misery of war. Their downcast eyes, like those of Heckel's wife in Hockende (Crouching woman), convey a powerful sense of hushed, brooding emotion. In Schneetreiben (Driving snow), the blinding brightness is deceptive; Heckel depicts a cold and desolate world.

PUBLISHING HISTORY

J. B. Neumann, who had worked with the artist before World War I, published this portfolio in 1921, taking advantage of the booming print market of the early 1920s, when, as the German currency lost value, graphic works promised a secure investment.

Erich Heckel (German, 1883–1970)

The Portfolio

Eleven Woodcuts (Elf Holzschnitte)

Date:
1921 (prints executed: 1913-1919)
Medium:
Woodcut
Dimensions:
composition (see child records): dimensions vary; sheet (each approx.): 24 1/8 x 20 1/8" (61.3 x 51.1 cm)
Paper:
Cream, slightly textured, wove.
Publisher:
J. B. Neumann, Berlin
Printer:
Fritz Voigt, Berlin
MoMA Number:
Portfolio_Heckel_11Woodcuts
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