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Amiet, Cuno  

(b Solothurn, March 28, 1868; d Oschwand, July 6, 1961).

Swiss painter and sculptor. From 1884 to 1886 he received irregular lessons from the Swiss painter Frank Buscher (1828–90). In the autumn of 1886 he attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the following year met Giovanni Giacometti, who was to be a lifelong friend. In 1888 he visited the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich, where he was particularly impressed by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Whistler. This prompted him to go to Paris to continue his studies, and from 1888 to 1891 he attended the Académie Julian, working under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier. While in Paris he also met Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and other Nabis artists, though his own painting of this period was most influenced by Impressionism. In 1892 he was advised to visit Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he met Emile Bernard, Armand Séguin and Roderic O’Conor, as well as seeing the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin at first hand. This brief period had a decisive effect upon his work, leading to such Synthetist paintings as ...


Düttmann, Werner  

Günther Kühne

(b Berlin, March 6, 1921; d Berlin, Jan 26, 1983).

German architect, urban planner and teacher. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin (1939–42), returning there to the Technische Universität (1947–8) after service in World War II and a period as a prisoner of war in England. He worked in the city building department of West Berlin from 1948 to 1966, with a year of postgraduate study under Thomas Sharp (1901–78) at the Town and Country Planning Institute at the University of Durham in 1950–51. Düttmann’s work as an architect belongs to the Neues Bauen tradition of German Modernism, influenced by Hans Scharoun, and his most successful works are marked by intimacy, appropriateness of scale and skilful handling of materials. His early buildings in West Berlin, including a youth hostel (1953), Zehlendorf, and an old people’s home (1955), Wedding, were followed by a small library, the Städtische Volksbücherei (...


Grohmann, Will  

N. A. Furness

(b Bautzen, Saxony, Dec 4, 1887; d Berlin, May 6, 1968).

German art historian. Although he had received a conventional classical education at the Kreuzschule in Dresden and was awarded a DPhil by the Universität Leipzig in 1913 for a dissertation on 18th-century German drama, he was drawn to the study of art by exhibitions of painting by Die Brücke in Dresden in 1907 and 1910. Personal contact with this group and, through his association with the Bauhaus, with Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Oskar Schlemmer led to early publications on Kandinsky (1924), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1925 and 1926) and Klee (1929). Identified as hostile to the Nazi regime, Grohmann was debarred from gainful employment in 1933, and the first volume of his major study of Paul Klee’s drawings, published in 1934, was confiscated. His publications resumed only following his migration to West Germany after World War II and his appointment in 1948 as professor of the history of art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin. He then earned an international reputation with his definitive monographs on Kandinsky, Klee, Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and his support for the younger generation of German and Swiss artists. Grohmann played a major role, partly through his prefaces to catalogues of exhibitions at the Marlborough Galleries in London, in introducing some of the outstanding exponents of 20th-century art to a wider public....


Heckel, Erich  

Lucius Grisebach

(b Döbeln, nr Dresden, July 31, 1883; d Radolfzell, nr Konstanz, Jan 27, 1970).

German painter, printmaker and sculptor. He was one of the founders of the group Brücke, Die and one of its most influential and active members. His work was central to German Expressionism.

Heckel began painting and drawing as a schoolboy in Chemnitz, where he became a friend of Karl Schmidt (later Schmidt-Rottluff). In 1904 Heckel went to Dresden to study architecture under Fritz Schumacher at the Technische Hochschule, where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the artist Fritz Bleyl (1880–1966). In 1905 the four artists, united by common artistic desires and aims, formed Die Brücke. Heckel abandoned his architectural studies in order to pursue his creative work and to organize the group, although he continued to work as a draughtsman and site manager for the architect Wilhelm Kreis until 1907. In common with other members of the group, Heckel drew and painted life models, either in the studio or ...


Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig  

Lucius Grisebach

(b Aschaffenburg, May 6, 1880; d Frauenkirch, June 15, 1938).

German painter, printmaker, and sculptor. He is one of the most important representatives of Expressionism (see Expressionism, §1). He was the leading figure in Brücke, Die, which was active in Dresden and Berlin from 1905 to 1913. His pictures of urban life have become the incarnation of the nervously agitated modern state of mind in Europe on the eve of World War I. After 1917, with his depictions of the Swiss mountain landscape of Davos and its inhabitants, he made one of the most important contributions to landscape painting in the 20th century.

Kirchner came from a middle-class family with artistic interests. He ended his schooldays in Chemnitz, after spending his childhood in various parts of Germany and Switzerland. Although his artistic talents were fostered by drawing and watercolour lessons at home, his parents did not support his wish to become an artist. After taking the school-leaving examination in ...


Krasauskas, Stasis  

Sergey Kuznetsov

(b Kaunas, June 1, 1929; d Vilnius, Feb 10, 1977).

Lithuanian draughtsman, printmaker and illustrator. He studied at the Lithuanian State Institute of Art in Vilnius (1952–8) and taught there from 1961. During the early 1950s his drawing was impressionistic, as in Portrait of My Wife (1959; artist’s estate). He was also a follower of German Expressionism, as represented by the group Die Brücke. Towards the 1960s he developed two different styles of illustration: the first consisted of flat, flowing lines, used mainly in linocuts; the second consisted of sculptural shapes expressed in woodcuts. Krasauskas gradually moved towards the embodiment of abstract ideas in his work and became interested in zincography. From the mid-1960s he used his linear style to indicate the masculine creative principle and the sculptural to indicate eternal life, the feminine principle. The unpublished series of linocuts illustrating the Song of Songs (1964) was followed by the series Movement (1971), an apologia for sporting competitions and physical and moral efforts to attain success. Among his greatest achievements was the series ...


Kubišta, Bohumil  

Jaroslav Sedlář

(b Vlčkovice, nr Hradec Králové, Aug 21, 1884; d Prague, Nov 27, 1918).

Bohemian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, but left in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Florence. In the same year, with Emil Filla and Antonin Procházka among others, he founded Eight, the, a group of artists who felt the need of innovation in their art, as exemplified by Cubism and German Expressionism. In 1909 and 1910 he visited Paris. During the next two years he exhibited with the Neue Sezession in Berlin and in 1913 in Düsseldorf. His work evolved rapidly from Impressionism, Expressionism and a specific kind of Cubism to Italian Futurism.

The young Kubišta was strongly affected by the work of Munch exhibited in Prague in 1905. Until 1910 he worked in an Expressionist style, which brought him closer to the German painters associated with Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke. The first notable example of this period was ...


May, Morton D(avid)  

A. Deirdre Robson

(b St Louis, MO, 1914; d St Louis, April 13, 1983).

American businessman and collector. May’s family wealth came from the May Department Stores. His collecting encompassed two separate strands: he was an enthusiastic collector of art from Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Central America, and he donated many such works to the St Louis Art Museum over several years. He also became well known as one of the earliest American collectors of German Expressionism, a style in which he developed an interest in the mid-1940s, when there were few dealers handling such work in the USA.

May’s collection eventually included more than 90 works. It comprised a selection by the artists of Die Brücke, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, and Max Pechstein, and works by artists associated with Der Blaue Reiter, for example Alexei Jawlensky and Vasily Kandinsky. Approximately one half of the collection, however, consisted of works by Max Beckmann, whom May came to know when Beckmann was teaching in St Louis in the late 1940s; the works ranged from ...


Mueller [Müller], Otto  

Lucius Grisebach

(b Liebau, Silesia [now Libawka, Poland], Oct 16, 1874; d Breslau [now Wrocław, Poland], Sept 24, 1930).

German painter and printmaker. His mother was said to have been a gypsy, although this was never proved. He began his artistic training with an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1890 until 1894 in Görlitz, Silesia. From 1894 to 1896 he studied at the Kunstakademie in Dresden. He returned to Silesia, however, travelling occasionally, for example to Switzerland, Italy and Munich. Towards the end of 1908 he moved to Berlin, where he joined the Neue Sezession, an exhibiting group formed in 1910 in protest at the rejection of younger artists’ work by the Berliner Sezession (see Secession, §2), which had a conservative tendency. In this circle he met some of the painters of Brücke, Die and he became a member of the group in 1910.

As each artist moved from Dresden to Berlin, Mueller’s contact with Die Brücke intensified. In 1911 he worked in Berlin with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Pechstein. He travelled to Bohemia with Kirchner and spent the summer with Kirchner and Erich Heckel on the Baltic island of Fehmarn. After the early influences of Symbolism and Post-Impressionism, and in particular the art of Arnold Böcklin and Ludwig von Hofmann (...


Neumann, J B  

Malcolm Gee

[Israel Ber]

(b Skole, Ukraine, March 2, 1887; d Rye, NY, April 28, 1961).

German dealer and publisher, active in the USA. Israel Ber Neumann, known as J. B. Neumann, opened his first print gallery in Berlin in 1911, exhibiting work by Edvard Munch and members of Brücke, Die. In 1913 he exhibited the complete prints of Munch in three shows and in 1915–16 was secretary to the Berlin Secession. After World War I Neumann, like other dealers in Expressionist art, initially met favourable conditions, with widespread demand for the work of such artists as Max Beckmann, who signed an exclusive contract with Neumann in 1921. This was a close but difficult relationship on both the personal and the commercial level. The deterioration of the German economic and political situation led Neumann to attempt to break into the American market, becoming permanently based in New York from 1923. He entrusted his Berlin gallery to Karl Nierendorf and the Munich one to Günther Franke. In ...


Nolde [Hansen], Emil  

Jill Lloyd

(b Nolde, Schleswig-Holstein, Aug 7, 1867; d Seebüll, Schleswig-Holstein, April 13, 1956).

German painter, watercolourist, and printmaker. He was one of the strongest and most independent of the German Expressionists. Nolde belonged to the Dresden-based group known as Brücke, Die from 1906 to 1907. Primarily a colourist, he is best known for his paintings in oil, his watercolours, and his graphic work. His art was deeply influenced by the stark natural beauty of his north German homeland, and alongside numerous landscapes, seascapes, and flower paintings, Nolde also produced works with religious and imaginary subjects.

Nolde first trained as a wood-carver under Heinrich Sauermann (1842–1904) in Flensburg and worked as a designer in furniture factories in Munich, Karlsruhe, and Berlin. From 1892 to 1897 he taught industrial design at the Saint-Gallen crafts museum, during which time he also became known as a mountaineer. The commercial success he enjoyed with a series of postcard drawings depicting the Swiss mountains as characters from fables and fairy tales finally won him the freedom to become a full-time artist, as their sale guaranteed him an income for several years. Studying in Munich at the private school of ...


Pechstein, (Hermann) Max  

Lucius Grisebach

(b Eckersbach, Zwickau, Dec 31, 1881; d West Berlin, June 19, 1955).

German painter and printmaker. He was apprenticed as a decorator in Zwickau from 1896 to 1900, when he moved to Dresden to enrol at the Kunstgewerbeschule, where he met the architect Wilhelm Kreis and the painter Otto Gussmann (1869–1926) and obtained decorative commissions. He continued his studies from 1902 until 1906 as Gussmann’s pupil at the Dresden Kunstakademie. Through Kreis, Pechstein was introduced to Erich Heckel in 1906 and was invited by him to join Brücke, Die, a group founded in the previous year that was quickly to become a major force in the rise of German Expressionism (see Expressionism §1). The founders of the group were all architecture students, leaving Pechstein as the only member to have received formal academic training as a painter. He remained closely involved with the group until 1910, drawing and painting in the studios of Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Dresden and also working communally with them ...


Schmidt-Rottluff [Schmidt], Karl  

Lucius Grisebach

(b Rottluff, nr Chemnitz, Dec 1, 1884; d West Berlin, Aug 10, 1976).

German painter and printmaker. One of the main exponents of Expressionism, he was a founder of Brücke, Die and one of its leading members. As a boy he got to know Erich Heckel at grammar school, following in his footsteps in 1905 when he enrolled as an architectural student at the Sächsische Technische Hochschule in Dresden; there Heckel introduced him to another student, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, four years his senior, and to Kirchner’s friend, the painter Fritz Bleyl (1880–1966). They all felt close in their artistic aspirations, perceiving their architectural studies as a front behind which they could train, largely by teaching themselves, as painters. Later that year, by which time Schmidt-Rottluff had annexed the name of his native town to his surname, they formed Die Brücke with the aim of creating an uncompromisingly vital art that renounced all traditions; the group’s name, derived from a quotation in Friedrich Nietzsche’s ...