About this work
Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.
Herwarth Walden, founder and sole editor of Der Sturm, once proclaimed: "I have never been mistaken in my artistic judgments. . . . In any field." Walden intended Der Sturm, which means storm or tempest, to be a force that would sweep away the old culture. Its format reinforced the active role Walden envisioned for his periodical: with text printed in three columns on cheap paper, it resembled a daily newspaper rather than the era's luxurious, glossy art publications.
Before World War I, Walden championed the work of the Expressionists—especially Oskar Kokoschka and the artists of the Brücke and the Blaue Reiter—and that of the international avant-garde, including Italian Futurists and French Cubists. After the war, he increasingly focused on geometric abstraction, Russian art, and, especially, the work of Kurt Schwitters. Walden also opened a publishing house, gallery, theater, and art school that extended Der Sturm's influence. The gallery, in particular, was a central forum for the avant-garde in Berlin.
Der Sturm was initially published weekly, but in 1912 its frequency was reduced to biweekly and later to monthly. The final issues appeared in 1932. Walden emigrated to the Soviet Union shortly thereafter, where he fell victim to Stalinist purges.