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Die Brücke Collage

Die Brücke

Started: 1905

Ended: 1913

Die Brücke Timeline

Quotes

"To go straight to the point [...] one of the aims of Die Brücke is to attract all the revolutionary and fermenting elements to itself - that's the meaning of the name, 'Brücke.'"
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
"Wherever I looked, Nature was alive: the sky, the clouds, on every stone and among the branches of the trees, everywhere my creatures stirred or lived their still or wild, lively lives, arousing my excitement and crying out to be painted."
Emil Nolde
"You too, find release only in art, you are one of those privileged people who have that gift, and you will be free and at peace so long as you make use of it."
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"Every color holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colors are colors, tones tones... and that is all. All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to hell, just go unnoticed."
Emil Nolde
"All art needs this visible world and will always need it. Quite simply because, being accessible to all, it is the key to all other worlds."
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"A painter paints the appearance of things, not their objective correctness; in fact, he creates new appearances of things."
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"Art is not a pastime, it is a duty with respect to the people, a public affair."
Max Pechstein
"I really feel pressure to create something that is as strong as possible. The war has really swept away everything from the past."
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
"The German artist creates out of his imagination, inner vision. The forms of visible nature are to him only a symbol."
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
"The art of an artist must be his own art. It is...always a continuous chain of little inventions, little technical discoveries of one's own, in relation to the tool, the material and the colors."
Emil Nolde
"The essence of art can never change. I'm convinced you can't talk about art. At best, you will have a translation, a poetic paraphrase, and as for that I'll leave that to the poets."
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

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Expressionism
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Der Blaue Reiter

KEY ARTISTS

Ernst Ludwig KirchnerErnst Ludwig Kirchner
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Fritz BleylFritz Bleyl
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Karl Schmidt-RottluffKarl Schmidt-Rottluff
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Erich HeckelErich Heckel
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Emil NoldeEmil Nolde
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Max PechsteinMax Pechstein
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"Whoever renders directly and authentically that which impels him to create is one of us."

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Signature

Synopsis

Progenitors of the movement later known as German Expressionism, Die Brücke formed in Dresden in 1905 as a bohemian collective of artists in staunch opposition to the older, established bourgeois social order of Germany. Their art confronted feelings of alienation from the modern world by reaching back to pre-academic forms of expression including woodcut prints, carved wooden sculptures, and "primitive" modes of painting. This quest for authentic emotion led to an expressive style characterized by heightened color and a direct, simplified approach to form.

Key Ideas

Die Brücke is typically seen as the fountainhead of German Expressionism, chronologically the first of two groups (the other being Der Blaue Reiter) that pushed German modern art onto the international avant-garde scene.
None of the four founding members of Die Brücke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, had received any formal education in the visual arts. They stressed the value of youth and intuition in escaping the intellectual cul-de-sac of academic thought focused on copying earlier models.
The name Die Brücke was chosen to indicate the group's desire to "bridge" the past and present. From the past, they chose to reassert Germany's rich artistic history, taking inspiration from the print and painting techniques of Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald, and Lucas Cranach the Elder. Developing the modern example of expressive colorists like Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and Henri Matisse, sharp and sometimes violently clashing colors are often used in Die Brücke painting to jolt the viewer into the experience of a particular emotion.
For the artists of Die Brücke, escaping the academy was part of a larger mission to escape the strictures of modern middle-class life. Nudity and explorations of free sexuality in their work (in domestic interiors and in nature) are often contrasted with images of the city, where human interaction is uncomfortably negotiated through prescribed social attitudes.

Beginnings

Die Brücke Image

Birth of Die Brücke in Dresden, 1905

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl met in 1901 at the Technical Institute of Dresden as architecture students interested in Germany's Jugendstil tradition, a local variant of Art Nouveau, and became fast friends. Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, a few years younger, met in grammar school in 1902 before enrolling in the Technical Institute in 1904 and 1905, respectively. In June 1905, the four students, now friendly colleagues, decided to form an artist's group opposed to tradition and the academic nature of their prior education. The idea of being a collective of artists was central to their thought, and it was established early on that Die Brücke artists would not exhibit outside of the group without permission from the other members. They exhibited aggressively, mounting over 70 shows in their brief eight-year tenure as a collective.

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Die Brücke Overview Continues

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Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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