gigicreations.com/wp-includes/peoria/7442.php Yet the large number of graphic works and paintings that the group pro- duced in various studios a former butcher's shop and later a cobbler's shop indicates the strength of their creativity and determination. Their stylistic innovations are most evident in representations of the nude and the landscape see figs. Guenther 9. Abend: Mittwoch den 3. April Martin Buber; Glelchnlsee dea Tachuang — Tse. Ferdinand Hardekopf: Der Gedankenstrich. Stanisiaw Przybyezewski: Prasa F. Robert Jentzach: Hymnen. Ghuttman: EIn Herr. Damntdnl anchdnli Die nachgalaiuntn Qadlchia. Shortly thereafter the others also left the staid city of Dresden for vibrant Berlin.
By this time, however, each was beginning to find his own style, and the group dissolved in Each became a significant force in the Expressionist movement on his own. The history of the Briicke artists consists therefore of two parts. Between and they were influenced by the artists of the Jugendstil the German version of Art Nouveau , Vincent van Gogh, the Fauves, and especially Edvard Munch, and they developed a short-lived communal approach.
Their later works cannot be associated with the Briicke; individual biographies and achievements demand a different focus. During the first period the young artists tried to gain sup- port and enlisted "passive" members, to whom they offered annual port- folios of prints with a report of their exhibition activities. The published membership list of includes eight active and twenty-nine passive mem- bers, a number that increased to forty-eight in and reached sLxty-eight in see fig.
The names of the supporters six lived in Switzerland, one in Sweden, the rest in Germany furnish a clue to where these young artists found acceptance: among open-minded middle-class intellectuals. In the polemicist Kurt Hiller formed Der neue Club the new club in Berlin and shortly thereafter the public Neopathetisches Cabaret see fig. Johannes R. Becher, another important early E. Other anthologies proclaimed the same emotions, as their titles indicate: Die Gemeinschaft The community, , Kameraden der Menschheit Com- rades of humanity, , Die Botschaft The message, , Verkiln- dung Annunciation, , and Die Entfaltung The unfolding, Herwarth Walden, after editing a number of other journals, founded Der Sturm The storm , whose title was suggested by his first wife, the notable poet Else Lasker-Schiiler.
In the pages of this remarkable publication the new poetry and prose were combined with Guenther Oskar Kokoschka Austria, Morder: Hoffnung der Frauen. Some illustrations were originals printed from woodblocks; others were reproductions, among which portraits by Oskar Kokoschka as well as drawings accompanying his drama Morder, Hoff- nung der Frauen Murderer, hope of women; see fig. Walden and his various assistants Lothar Schreyer, for example, and the well-known reciter Rudolf Bliimner became the self-appointed spokesmen for the Expressionist movement as they understood it.
Intolerant of other interpretations of the new arts, they engaged in heated arguments, especially about aesthetics, which oc- cupied increasing space in the journal. Without Der Sturm the Expres- sionist movement would have lacked one of its most significant voices. A slightly different trend was followed by Die Aktion Action; see fig.
From its beginnings and increasingly over the years, the journal dis- played pronounced socialist tendencies. Pfemfert at first supported the Spartakus Bund Spartacus league , the most radical of the Communist factions, and welcomed the Russian Revolution of , but he later became as outspoken an opponent of the Communist party as he had been of the First World War. P-- Ich Khneide die Y. They published the new literature and art, they criti- cized public institutions as well as individuals if they were not progressive, and they reported on and criticized, sometimes savagely, the theater and other artistic activities if they did not support the new direction.
In their different ways both journals were strongholds of the movement. While these publications made Berlin the center of Expressionist polemics, another aspect of the movement within the visual arts developed in Munich. It began in , when a Russian named Wassily Kandinsky gave up a promising academic career and moved to Munich to become a painter. Having studied with various teachers and become acquainted with the modern French schools, he began a career of extraordinary creativity.
The burst of energy to which his biog- raphy bears witness led to the formation in of an influential artists' group, the Neue Kiinstlervereinigung Miinchen new artists' association Munich , or NKVM. The following year he was instrumental in present- ing to the Munich public within an exhibition of this group the first large- scale show of modern French and Russian artists. The list of participants remains impressive. Quarrels ensued the following year, and in December Kandinsky, Alfred Kubin, Franz Marc, and Miinter left the group, imme- diately planning a counterexhibition, since the artistic differences within the group had become irreconcilable and a break inevitable when Kandinsky's Composition v was rejected by the jury.
During the same year Kandinsky and Marc worked on an almanac that they envisioned as a voice for the new arts. It was not a large exhibition, consisting of only forty-three works, including two by Henri Rousseau, who had died in , and five by Robert Delaunay. Kandinsky, after hearing a concert of Arnold Schonberg's music, initiated an exchange of letters with the composer. Although the exhibition was significant, the almanac Der blaue Reiter The blue rider, ; fig.
In short, the Blaue Reiter was not a community, and the participants' styles were as different as their personalities. A statement in the catalogue of the first exhibition ex- pressed the group's philosophy; "We wish to propagate in this small exhibi- tion not one precise and special form, but we intend in the variety of the forms represented to show how the inner wish of the artists expresses itself. Assem- bled in its pages were theoretical essays, discourses on the modern arts, explorations of modern music, an introduction to modern Russian painting, as well as musical scores by Schonberg and his most famous students, Alban Berg and Anton von Webern see figs, ii, The span of the articles was remarkable, and the illustrations represented an astounding new view of the arts.
Reproductions of sculptural works from Africa and Mexico were interspersed with paintings by Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Picasso, members of the Briicke Kirchner, Mueller, Pechstein , children's drawings, Bavarian paintings on glass, Egyptian shadow-play figures, and Renaissance woodcuts. The lead article by Marc, entitled "Geistige Giiter" Spiritual goods , la- mented the general lack of interest in spiritual values and also expressed the editors' belief that their ideas were elements of a new movement whose "vibrations were felt all over the world.
The fight seems uneven, but in spiritual matters it is never the number but the strength of ideas that will be victorious. Each of the artists in these groups used different forms, Marc stated, but all desired "to create through their works symbols for their times, which belong on the altars of the coming spiritual religion and behind which their technical creator will disappear. In the same year Kandinsky's important theoretical work Uber das Geistige in der Kunst Concerning the spiritual in art; fig. By this time Expressionist works of art were being shown in several galleries.
The first Blaue Reiter exhibition, for instance, went from Munich to the Gereonsclub in Cologne and from there to Der Sturm in Berlin, the gallery that Walden had opened to provide a showcase for the artists whom he supported in his journal. In this gallery showed the largest international modern art exhibition ever held in Germany and called it, following the French example, Erster deutsche Herbstsalon First German autumn salon. Seventy-five artists from twelve countries contributed works, which represented all of the contemporary styles, including Expressionism. Although the latter remained primarily a Ger- man development, it had become obvious to critics and the public that the "old" arts had found successful challengers in all of Europe.
At the openings for his exhibitions he organized more than two hundred, many of which traveled to other galleries in Germany and abroad as well as at his later soirees, Walden propagated the Gesamt- kunstwerk by offering recitations from works of authors published in the journal and performances of contemporary music.
In short, Expressionist hterature and music as well as painting and graphics found support in Berhn. Other galleries had also begun to present works by the still-controversial artists. Neumann became spokesmen for their artists and thus for the movement. But it was not only in Berlin that these new works could be seen. Meyer and Erich Reiss in Berlin, and R. Weissbach in Heidelberg were eager to print the new poetry and prose. It was a hectic period, and although the general public still rejected and derided Expressionism, new voices were heard and new images were seen.
The Expressionist movement had gained a strong foothold in the artistic life of Germany. And then the war broke out. The year was a true caesura, a divide; a wave of patriotism that quickly became chauvinistic engulfed all of Europe and especially Germany. Marc's diaries and letters echoed this sentiment. Many artists volunteered, as they and countless others believed that the war would be short and would truly bring about a totally new beginning.
Although, as expected, artistic activity declined because of censorship and the scarcity of paper and canvas, there were still exhibitions. Der Sturm and Die Aktion continued pubhcation; the latter strongly opposed the war from early on. Kandinsky returned to Moscow, and Jawlensky and Werefkin moved to Switzerland, but other artists were able to remain active in Germany.
The early news of German victories on all fronts that had fanned so much enthusiasm was soon replaced by tragic accounts. The list grew steadily. Accounts of victories became rare, and by the number of dead and maimed changed the public's mood. At home hunger stalked the streets of the cities, and hopes for a new world grew dimmer. One example of this change must suffice: in Paul Cassirer, the gallery owner and publisher, initiated a series of illustrated broadsides entitled Kriegszeit: Kunstlerflugbldtter Wartime: Artists' broadsides , which were prowar, chauvinistic, and popular.
Many of the better-known artists, such as August Gaul, Otto Hettner, and Max Liebermann, contributed, as did Ernst Barlach, Germany's greatest sculptor and an extraordinary graphic artist, writer, and dramatist, who had been represented by Cassirer since Among the eleven works that Barlach published in and were lithographs that suggest that he was following the chauvinistic trend. In issue number 17 a print entitled Der heilige Krieg The holy war; fig.
By then Barlach too saw the war differently. Two issues later Barlach s print Selig sind die Barmherzigen Blessed are the merciful appeared, and in number 18 a symbolic kneeling figure is presented, with the title Dona nobis pacem Give us peace; fig. The Expressionist movement was stalled: Kirchner was hospitalized with a nervous condition.
Max Beckmann had been fur- loughed after a collapse, Kokoschka was recovering from a wound he had received a year earlier, Karl Hofer was interned in France, and Pechstein was in Palau. The horrors of the war became more visible every day. The growing strength of the Allies, the hunger and deprivation at home, mounting strikes in industry, and the mutiny of the navy brought the Ger- man war effort to an end.
Within days an uprising swept over Germany, the kaiser and various princes and dukes resigned, and on November 9, , the birth of the German Republic was proclaimed. Nobody, how- ever, seemed to have made any plans for this event. In the streets of the larger cities armed battles broke out between political factions, each of which had a different concept of this new Germany. The political left was deeply divided.
Some wanted to duplicate the Russian form of govern- ment using a system of Rate, or councils the Russian Revolution of had made a great impression as a possible model for Germany , while another faction wanted a socialistic republic. The new government was unable to quell the unrest and called on the political right to volunteer for quasimilitary service in the Freikorps armed volunteer corps , which brutally suppressed various uprisings and protest marches.
The artists who had expressed their fervent hope for an end to the war in their works were ready to help build the new society. Even before the election for the Constitutional Assembly had been announced November 29, , the young artists had made their pres- ence felt in the political arena.
On November 9 a group of writers appeared in the parliamentary building in Berlin under the leadership of Hiller, the founder of the Neopathetisches Cabaret and the later Aktivis- ten Bund activist league and publisher of the yearbook Das Ziel The goal. They established themselves with the permission of the Arbeiter- und Soldatenrat workers' and soldiers' council as Rat geistiger Arbeiter council of intellectual workers.
This group presented a radical, socialist political program that had been signed by many writers, artists, and intel- lectuals. The organization existed through the middle of and weathered a number of internal disagree- ments, yet it remained powerless and isolated from the government. Al- though the activist wing of the Expressionist movement existed for only a short time, many of its ideas later became law even without its participa- tion.
Several such councils existed in Munich, where Heinrich Mann was the president, and in Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, and other cities. Their effectiveness, however, was minimal. Another council made its appearance at the same time. The Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst working council for art was formed by a group of architects, painters, sculptors, and critics who had a common goal: "Art and people must form a unity. The arts shall no longer be just the delight of the few, but the happiness and life of the masses.
The unification of all of the arts under the wings of a great architecture is the goal. Two outstand- ing architects— Bruno Taut and, slightly later, Walter Gropius— the painter and stage designer Cesar Klein, and the critic Adolf Behne formed the executive committee. They proclaimed: "The most important task for the imme- diate future. In every town Volkshduser peoples' houses were to be erected, which would have the task of introducing the people to all of the arts, especially the modern arts. The council also demanded that museums be reorganized, that lectures be given to all museum visi- tors, and that more exhibition space be made available.
Aware of the public's reluctance to accept modern art, the council emphasized its edu- cational program, demanding the complete restructuring of all art schools and academies. Henning demanding greater use of terra-cotta for sculpture as well as in and on buildings; an exhibition for the "unknown architect "; and the pub- lication of a booklet, Riifzum Baiien Call to building , with an introduc- tion by Behne.
Due to the cessation of construction during the war, many of the Utopian plans and models designed by architects allied with the movement were now introduced to the public for the first time. Some of these, by Hermann Finsterlin, Wenzel A. It had to be expected that the press and the public were startled by what they perceived as the impracticality of these plans. Far more important and indicative of the shared goals within the Expressionist movement was a booklet entitled Ja! Stimmen des Arbeitsratesfiir Kiinst in Berlin Yes! Voices of the working council for art in Berlin; fig. The Arbeitsrat tried to translate many of the Expressionist dreams into reality.
Since neither the populace nor the government reacted positively, it merged in with another group formed during the revolution, the Novem- bergruppe November group , which took its name from the month of the revolution, when hopes for the construction of a new state and a new society were still intact. They declared that they wanted to be more than just an exhibition organization; their aim was to influence all artistic questions that the new republic would face. Paralleling much of the program of the Arbeitsrat, they announced, in addition to an annual exhibition each November, sev- eral publications and performances of modern music.
It is not surprising that many members of the Novembergruppe which lasted, albeit as an exhibition organization, until the s had also been members of the Arbeitsrat or signatories of its program. Both organizations as well as the Rat geistiger Arbeiter were part of the Expressionist movement, and the majority of their members were Expressionists. It was not by accident that the opening sentences of the Novembergruppe manifesto read: "We stand on the fruitful ground of the revolution. Our motto is: Ereedom— Equality— Brotherhood! That pathos was genuine and had an ethical accent.
The pronouncements of the Arbeitsrat and the Novem- bergruppe reached other cities and towns, where new artists' groups were formed. Many, if not most, began with a manifesto, exhibitions, and a flurry of other artistic activities. The two that deserve special attention since they exemplify the variety within the Expressionist movement are the Dresden Sezession: Gruppe Dresden secession: group and Das junge Rheinland the young Rhineland.
The Dresden group was typical of postwar artists' orga- nizations: a small group of very young artists began to meet at the end of and called themselves Expressionistische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Expressionist working group. They were painters, poets, writers, and Friihzeitig von der Neuen Kanst gepackt, erkaimte ich in ihr meiiien Weg. Sludierte schnell, um zu gestalten, was mich bewegte.
Und gedriingt von meinem unzufriedenen Clia- rakter, gelangte ich bald zu den Resultaten, die ich hier als meine Graphik zeige. Die Arbeit geschieht hastig, — aber nicht iiberstiirzt. Beginning in January they found an outlet for their ideas in the characteris- tically expressionistic journal Menschen Humanity; see fig.
The Gruppe was officially formed shortly after the Novembergruppe and announced that it was "founded by a number of artists who wished to realize ideal projects that— like their art— necessarily separated them from previous artists. Basic principles are: truth— brotherhood— art.
In Neustadt in St. Over the past quarter-century, the massive, five-volume biography of Maximilian by the Austrian historian, Hermann Wiesflecker, has provided the Habsburg rejoinder to the Prussian critique by Ulmann. Heidelberg km away. Not only are realpolitik activities examined as appropriate topics but also cultural activity, including literary and artistic patronage, as a form of agitprop. In Georg Kaiser's Die Burger von Calais The burghers of Calais, , which was inspired by Rodin's sculpture, sui- cide is interpreted as bravery if one willingly becomes a martyr for a good cause but not if one fights senselessly for one's honor.
Con- rad Felixmiiller, the guiding spirit of the group, was convinced that only in connection with a strong political force could they expect to transform their hopes into reality and that this required membership in the Com- munist party. While Constantin von Mitschke-Collande sided with Fehxmiiller for a while, the others refused to take this step.
Peter August Bockstiegel Felixmliller's brother-in-law. Otto Schubert, and the architect Hugo Zehder left for personal reasons. Even Felixmliller's political-artistic drive vanished not long thereafter. The journal Menschen remained important, but even there the change from the revolutionary to the purely artistic did not take long. In its first issues the editors stated that it was "the expression of poets, writers, painters, and musicians for whom the arts were a means to change man" and only slightly later expanded its concept to include what "in literature, painting, music, and criticism is called Expressionism.
Berlin, Dresden, and Munich had produced very dif- ferent strands of the Expressionist movement. It was therefore to be expected that the movement's development in the Rhineland would like- wise take a different form. There the first important event was the exhibi- tion held in Cologne in by the Sonderbund westdeutscher Kunstfreunde und Kiinstler special association of west German friends of art and artists , which proclaimed in its exhibition catalogue that it pro- vided an overview of "that movement that has been called Expression- ism.
Many Expressionists were represented, including the former Briicke members Heckel and Kirchner were given the honor of painting the chapel and the artists who had exhibited with the Blaue Reiter. It remained an isolated event, however, because the organizing group disbanded in Macke, who had died in the war, was repre- sented by thirty paintings. It is noteworthy that this group was consider- ably less demonstrative and that its emphasis on politics was far weaker than that of the Novembergruppe and many other groups.
The only political platform that the group retained was the demand for the immediate dissolution of the art academies.
The Expres- sionist movement had lost its revolutionary impetus in the Rhineland. That the call for the dissolution of the art academies was still on the agenda is intriguing because this was one of the few demands of the radical artists' groups that were realized, in the form of the estab- lishment of the state-supported Bauhaus in Weimar, a truly new and inno- vative school. He hired an extraordinary faculty that shocked the populace of Weimar and delighted the Expressionists: Feininger, Johan- nes Itten, and Marcks.
Georg Muche, and Oskar Schlemmer. The pamphlet in which Gropius announced the program of the new school echoed statements made by the Arbeitsrat and the Novembergruppe: " 'The final aim of all artistic activity is building. The accomphshments of the Bauhaus during the years in Weimar and after in Dessau are too well known to require an extended account.
That the school's approach to the education of artists and designers was innovative is unquestionable, yet it should be noted that architecture did not become a part of the curriculum until after the move to Dessau. By that time, however, the Expressionist ardor had dis- sipated, and a new, Constructivist-influenced approach had gained the upper hand. The young artists who founded these groups proclaimed in manifestos and programs that their art was no longer pretty, decorative, or imitative in nature, but was a philosophical, spiritual, or even political statement.
These artists were willing to subordinate their individuality by exhibiting with like- minded colleagues and friends. By presenting a common front, they would demonstrate to gallery owners, museums, critics, and the public that their vision of man and the world was a shared one. While most of the Expressionist breakthroughs in the visual arts and in literature occurred before the war, the horrors of war and the restrictions imposed during wartime make the stridency of these groups' revolutionary pronounce- ments understandable. To make a movement out of a "trend " if that term may be used for Expressionism , however, requires that the other arts follow a parallel course.
Only a few groups were formed by poets and writers. We know of their endless discussions in coffeehouses, but the coherence of the visual artists within their groups remained singular. To attempt to find group structures among poets and writers by comparing the appearances of their works in the many journals and magazines of the era is not productive, since the same author can be found in different journals at the same time.
Yet the titles of some of these publications do suggest a common denominator, since they reflect the direction of their editorial policies: Anbruch Beginning , Feuer Fire; fig. The parallel to the titles of the poetry anthologies is obvious. A careful study of Der Sturm, Die Aktion, and some of the other periodicals reveals that the graphic works and the poems and stories published in them have little in common as far as content is concerned; they do, however, have the same roots.
One can offer proof of the basic soundness of calling Expressionism a movement by sketching its develop- ment in an art form in which literature and the visual arts are combined, such as theater or film. The German theater always had a pronounced social function. The Expressionist theater frequently came close to being a pul- pit, a place from which the transformation of man and thus of society could be effected.
They inspired their directors to develop a new kind of stagecraft, which became one of the characteristics of the plays within the Expressionist movement.
The earliest of these new plays came, not surprisingly, from two great visual artists: Kokoschka, whose Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen see fig. Both plays included fea- tures that influenced many later playwrights, such as the transformation of specific characters into types and a stylized linguistic structure that 20 Guenther Ernst Deutsch in Walter Hasenclever's Der Sohn, Deutsches Landestheater, Prague first performance, September 30, 30 Sketch for a production of Walter Hasenclever's Der Sohn, Stadttheater, Kiel first performance, October 31, ; director: Gerhard Ausleger; set designer: Otto Reigbert substituted a staccato of highly emotional statements accentuating the intensity of the action for the well-constructed explanatory sentences and dialogues of conventional drama.
The Expressionist play- wrights saw themselves as visionaries, as prophets whose voices were raised for the Erneuerung des Menschen regeneration of humanity. The importance of drama within the Expressionist move- ment was very great. The theater was once again a moral institution. Reinhard Sorge's Der Bettler The beggar, portrays the transforma- tion of a young man, an incarnation of pure emotion, who kills his parents and then ascends to heaven, having freed himself from all bonds, even that of love.
In importance this drama was paralleled by Hasenclever's Der Sohn The son, ; see figs. When his father has him brought home in hand- cuffs by the police, the son aims a pistol at the father, who dies of a heart attack. In Arnolt Bronnen's Vatermord Patricide, , the conflict was widened, and the influences of the social milieu and of genetic inheri- tance were accentuated.
In Georg Kaiser's Die Burger von Calais The burghers of Calais, , which was inspired by Rodin's sculpture, sui- cide is interpreted as bravery if one willingly becomes a martyr for a good cause but not if one fights senselessly for one's honor. Schickele's once- famous Hans im Schnakenloch Hans in Schnakenloch, revolves around an Alsatian's love for both France and Germany, a conflict that was well known in both countries. Like many other Expressionist plays, it emphasizes the ideals of pacifism and socialism. Merely to summarize the plays' content, however, makes little sense.
Indeed Ernst Toller's deeply moving play. Die Wandlung The transformation, ; see fig. The play is essentially a lyrical monologue about the love of human- kind, calling on spectators to transform their lives; it is, in other words, a call for Utopia. In all of these plays and in many, many others, reality and dream, actual events and visions interact in new ways and establish new forms.
The plays furiously denounce the past and the present most were written before the war , and many project a redemption that relates them to the old mystery plays. The new plays required new directors and actors as well as new stage designers capable of translating the texts into appropriate visual forms. Some of the directors who made these plays famous and who in turn became famous by staging them have not been forgotten: Ludwig Berger, Jiirgen Fehling, Karl-Heinz Martin, Max Reinhardt, and Ber- thold Viertel, among others.
The same holds true for the actors who became known for their performances in these dramas, for instance, Ernst Deutsch see fig. The stage designer's role gained new promi- nence, since the plays demanded new visual interpretations. Designers became something like codirectors, transforming stages into haunting 21 Guenther Gerda Miiller in Fritz von Unruh's Platz, Schauspielhaus, Frankfurt am Main first perfor- mance. It was not only in Berlin that these new theatrical experi- ences were available. Theaters in Darmstadt, Diisseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Mannheim, and Munich also dared to confront the public with controversial plays.
The theater critics of the larger newspapers traveled to the premieres of these plays and thus encouraged other directors to stage new works. That the theater was central to Expressionism becomes obvious when one recalls that as early as Hasenclever had demanded the "stage for art, politics, and philosophy! Murnau, 37 Anonymous Untitled, Silver print 10 X 13 in.
Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene, M. The original story was mellowed on the insis- tence of the producers, but the painted background decorations, the highly stylized performances, the costumes, and the makeup set an unfor- gettable mood. The film's graphic quality nearly overshadowed the horror story, with its themes of murder, hypnosis, somnambulism, and mental derangement.
Doktor Caligari also broke a pattern that had been estab- lished soon after the abolition of censorship in explicit sex films, frequently under the guise of sex education or condemnation of prostitu- tion, competed with historical films such as Madame Dubarry or Anne Boleijn and with film versions of Hamlet or Othello. Once Wiene had proven that Expressionism could be successfully translated into the me- dium of film, other directors quickly followed suit.
Karl-Heinz Martin filmed an adaptation of Kaiser's play Von morgens bis mitternachts From morning till midnight, , the story of a bank clerk who makes a nightmarish attempt to break out of poverty by embezzling money but finds that he cannot buy anything of lasting value and finally commits suicide. Martin had become famous as a director of Expressionist plays in Frankfurt and founded a theater in Berlin, Die Tribiine, with Rudolf Leonhard in There he directed Toller's Die Wandlung, using a black stage on which the actors were isolated by bright spotlights.
The film ver- 23 Guenther 38 Frames from Rythmus 21, directed by Hans Richter, Scene from Die Strasse, directed by Ciirl Grime, 38 sion of the play made use of this device and, with Neppach's designs, was another outstanding example of expressionistic film. In this case it was not only the form that was striking but also the typical Expressionist con- demnation of materialism and glorification of the poor and downtrodden.
There were other films that were important to the move- ment primarily because they reached a wide public. Genuine — directed by Wiene, based on a script by Mayer, and with designs by Klein— serves as a good example. Once again it was the visual form that made the film important, since the story is a melodramatic tale of a femme fatale. This type of horror fairy tale was typical of the Expressionist imagi- nation, as was the second version of Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam The Golem and how he came into the world, ; see fig.
Based on a script by the actor Paul Wegener, who also directed the film and played the lead role, Der Golem retold the story of the terrible clay figure in the possession of Rabbi Loev in Prague, which in the end is destroyed by the innocence of a child. The sculptor Rudolf Belling made the mask for the Golem while the architect Hans Poelzig re-created medieval Prague as background. The atmosphere is as dense and haunting as that created by Albin Grau in another well-known film, Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens Nosferatu: A symphony of horror, ; see fig.
Murnau, one of Germany's great directors, used Henrik Galeen's adapta- tion of Bram Stoker s Dracula, in which the plague is symbolized by a vampire who lives on human blood. Again the story was secondary to the visual impact of this most horrible of films. Meidner created expressionis- tic designs for the film Die Strasse The street, ; see fig. Viking Eggeling, a Swedish painter, made the first such film, Diagonal-Symphonie Diagonal symphony , in Berlin, using animated linear designs.
Hans Richter's Rhythmus 21 Rhythm 21; see fig. Hoboken and Walter Ruttman experimented with moving planes and colors. A few art- ists, among them Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, worked with the same concepts in later years. Many other films were part of the movement, but the public soon began to prefer more entertaining, less challenging fare. After , when political conditions permitted the importation of films from Amer- ica, there was no longer a market for expressionistic films. The most frustrated artists within the Expressionist movement were the architects. Germany needed new factory buildings and new apartment houses, not Utopian designs.
Bruno Taut see fig. At the end of he initiated an informal exchange of letters and drawings among a small number of colleagues to spur the develop- ment of a new architecture in order to be ready for new commissions. They shared the conviction that architecture, through its visual and spa- tial impact, could be a forceful device for social change. Architecture needed to be the symbol of the new world, and Taut called on his friends to become "imaginary" architects, recognizing that "the bourgeoisie, our colleagues included, belittled the revolution by proceeding as if nothing had happened.
Wenzel A. Hablik, a member of the group, stated: "We need new ideals. One of these is the Gesamtkunst- werk, the building. Not the brick box or the minimal living-space box, but architecture as a living element comparable to the cosmic laws. Taut and the others recog- nized, however, that before such projects could be built, a larger segment of society had to be willing to accept the new ideas; "The direct carrier of the spiritual forces, molder of the sensitivities of the general public— which today is slumbering but tomorrow will awaken— is architecture.
Only a complete revolution in the spiritual realm will create this new architecture. Very few of the buildings erected during this period can be called expressionistic. One of the best examples of expressionistic architecture was created not by an architect but by the founder of the Anthroposophical Society, Rudolf Steiner. Between and he designed a number of ingenious wooden buildings in Dornach, Switzer- land, which were to provide a harmonious frame for the activities of his society see fig.
After a fire on New Year's Day of destroyed the buildings, they were replaced between and by concrete struc- tures that were more conservative in form. Another example of expres- sionistic architecture that is often cited is the Einstein Tower in Potsdam ; see figs. Its powerfully curving forms and the imaginative stacking of the floors give it the appearance of a monolith.
It was reconstructed after the Second World War. No other large commissions were offered. Gro- pius designed a complex triangular structure as a memorial to the workers who were killed by government troops in Weimar in March It is far more dynamic than the massive memorial Ludwig Mies van der Rohe built in Berlin for Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, two Communist leaders who were murdered by right-wing militarists. A third memorial could be added here, the sculptural arcade built by Max Taut for the Wissinger family at the cemetery in Stahnsdorf-Berlin. Major commissions that would have demonstrated what expressionistic architecture could achieve simply did not come about.
Only in modern church buildings did expressionistic forms become visi- ble. The use of more imaginative forms to enhance the spirit of the faithful was more readily accepted by religious organizations. Domenikus Bohm built the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Neu-Ulm , and Otto Bartning built the Church of the Resurrection in Essen , both of which display an architectural vocabulary that is clearly expres- sionistic.
After the Second World War, when many churches had to be rebuilt, expressionistic forms were revived. As far as interior design is concerned, two well-known expressionistic solutions must be mentioned. Poelzig reconstructed the interior of a former circus building, transforming it into the largest the- ater in Berlin, the Grosses Schauspielhaus see figs. The archi- Hans Poelzig Germany, Grosses Schauspielhaus, Berlin, 27 Guenther tect covered the wide dome structure with stalactite forms and designed a color lighting system that could evoke various moods.
On a much smaller scale the interior of the Tanzkasino dance casino Skala in Berlin, designed by Belling and the architect Walter Wiirzbach, was dependent upon cubistic crystalline forms see fig. It is typical of the period that Behne concluded his critique of this interior with the comment; "Plastic conception of space and movement can be splendid when a free will car- ries the art. Whether or not that [spirit] can be active in rooms for playboys and profiteers remains doubtful. It was introduced by Bruno Taut and con- cerned the use of color in architecture.
The uniformly gray facades of urban buildings and the lack of green spaces in the cities contributed to the oppressive atmosphere that many of the young Expressionist poets had lamented. Blass, Albert Ehrenstein, Heym, Lotz, Stadler, and Franz Werfel all inveighed against the inhumanity of the cities and the individ- ual's isolation. When he became city architect of Halle , he immediately put his idea into practice. The lower parts of the city hall were painted fire-engine red, the loggias green, the statues and capitals yellow, and the horizontal courses of the seventeenth-century building black.
Assisted by his office, many houses quickly put on new coats of paint, and blue, green, pink, and yellow buildings soon gave the inner city a new look. The Barasch department store was decorated with multicolored cubistic designs in complete disregard of the underlying fa- cade. Taut's garden city of Falkenberg, near Berlin, was called Kolonie Tuschkasten [paint-box colony]. The public was critical, however, and the program was discontinued. Although considered Utopian, some of the architects al- hed with the Expressionist movement were highly gifted and found a way to prove it after At that time many large apartment blocks and sat- ellite settlements were being built, and these architects designed and built some outstanding socially conscious developments.
Taut, together with Martin Wagner, built the influential Horseshoe settlement in Ber- lin, and Gropius created a satellite in Torten, near Dessau. Salvisberg, and Hans Scharoun developed the plans for Sie- mens-Stadt. The settlements integrated practical layouts of apartments, kindergarten buildings surrounded by wading pools and sandboxes, public libraries, shops, and green spaces frequently achieved only after conflicts with community leaders. The mixture of single dwellings and larger apartment blocks and the configuration of the streets broke the monotony of the typical city.
These projects were based on the dreams of the prewar period and the social idealism ol the Expressionist movement. Music, an art form that is undoubtedly an important part of the movement, nevertheless defies stylistic classification. Neither composers nor even specific works can be called "expressionistic, " yet Schonberg see fig. The confusion of terms is obvious in a statement about the composer by his student.
In a lecture before the performance of his musical drama Die gliickliche Hand The fortunate hand, in Breslau in , he stated: "One has called this type of art expressionistic, and I don't know why. It never expressed more than what was in it. I have said [before], it is the art of representing inner processes. Schonberg's relationship with the Blaue Reiter began in January , when Kandinsky referred in a letter to the "similarity of their aspirations," which he had felt while listening to Schonberg's music.
Three of the composer's paintings were included in the first Blaue Reiter exhibition, and Kandinsky insisted that Schonberg write an article for the almanac. In Uber das Geistige in der Kiinst, Kandinsky wrote: "[Schon- berg's] music leads us into a realm where musical experience is a matter not of the ear but of the soul alone, and at this point the music of the future begins.
Thomas von Hartmann wrote "Uber die Anarchic in der Musik " Concerning anarchy in music , strongly advocating the freedom to use unusual sounds and sound pat- terns as long as they corresponded to a composition's inner necessity. In this play, music, light, solo as well as choral voices, and projected colors were combined with actors who portrayed types. Two additional defenses of modern music were included in the almanac; Leonid Sabanejew praised Aleksandr Scriabin's opera Prome- theus as a ritual mysterium, while N.
Kublin propounded Thesen der freien Musik Theses of free music. The chronological parallel of Kandinsky's and Schon- berg's work during this period is significant. Kandinsky published his Uber das Geistige in der Kunst at the same time that Schonberg pub- lished his H armonielehre Structural functions of harmony. While Kandinsky was beginning to paint abstract watercolors, Schonberg was dissolving traditional tonality and painting his Visions.
In Schonberg developed the twelve-tone method at the same time as Josef Matthias Hauer , now known as dodecaphony, while Kandinsky began to work on his Punkt und Linie zu Fldche Point and line to plane. This parallel is the exception in the chronology of the Expressionist movement. The date when a work was written and its publication date were frequently as far apart as the completion of the manuscript for a play and its first perfor- mance.
In music the same holds true. Only in were Schonberg's two musical dra. Likewise Berg's opera Wozzeck, based on a dramatic fragment by the Romantic playwright Georg Biichner, was begun in but was not performed until It is truly expressionistic in content as well as in form and therefore met with the same mixed reaction that so many works within the movement encountered. In Prague in , dur- ing the third performance, scuffles broke out between the work's admir- ers and its detractors.
A review by Paul Zscholrich in Deutsche Zeitiing exemplifies the bitterness of the attacks on many Expressionist works by critics and the public: "the perpetrator of this work counts safely on the stupidity and charity of his fellow man, and for the rest relies on God Almighty. I regard Alban Berg as a musical swindler and a musician dangerous to the community.
Kokoschka's early plays were transformed into operas by Paul Hindemith and Ernst Kfenek see fig. The latter also wrote Zwingburg, a cantata based on a text by Werfel. Many such ties between contemporary composers,- poets, and writers existed.
The November- gruppe's concerts of modern music were organized by Max Butting, who published a lecture on contemporary music by Paul Bekker and offered it to the public as an introduction. His influence on music could be compared with that of Walden on literature and the visual arts. Scherchen was con- sidered one of the most gifted interpreters and performers of works by the younger composers, including Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Hindemith who rejected the twelve-tone method , Hans Jelinek, Kfenek, Egon Wellesz, and Stefan Wolpe.
The innovations of those composers who were an important part of the Expressionist movement are still apparent in today's music. The one art form that could be called an offshoot of the movement was modern dance, which for a while was called the German dance in English-speaking countries. There had been forerunners, such as Isadora Duncan, whose limited gestures and positions were based on Greek sculpture and vase paintings; Ruth St.
There was a growing awareness that the body needed to be freed from the unnatural shackles that society had imposed on gesture and movement. Gymnastic schools were also instrumental in changing the late nineteenth-century ambivalence toward the body. Even Steiner's anthroposophical movement developed its own form of dance movement. The truly new developments in dance were introduced by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, the Swiss music theoretician, and Rudolf La- ban de Varaljas see fig.
Jaques-Dalcroze stud- ied the relationship between rhythm and body movement and concluded that allowing the body to react freely to music or texts would create new experiences for both the dancer and the audience. In he demon- strated his system of Eurythmics for the first time, and in , with the help of Wolf Dohrn, he opened a school for rhythmic movement in Hellerau, one of Germany's first garden cities and an artistic and intellec- tual center. In , in the school's specially built theater, he performed Paul Claudels Maria Verkiindigung The Annunciation , in which rhyth- mic choirs performed Gebdrde-Spiele gesture plays , thus providing a visual interpretation of the content and spirit of the play.
A later perfor- mance of Ghristoph Gluck's Orpheus und Eurydike Orpheus and Euryd- ice was a significant event in the development of the modern dance the- 31 Guenther 52 Rudolf Laban ater. When the war broke out, Jaques-Dalcroze moved his school to Switzerland and later, after the war, to Hamburg.
One of Jaques-Daleroze's most outstanding students was Mary Wigman see fig. Nolde called Wigman's attention to the school that Laban had opened. Laban rejected the idea that dance was primarily an interpreta- tion of music. He taught that ideas, experiences, and emotions could be communicated through free body movement. He frequently used only gongs, tambourines, and different kinds of drums to set the rhythms for his dances.
Laban's Gerdusch-Musik noise music was closely related to the exploration of the arts of Africa and Oceania by the Briicke artists as well as by Picasso, Matisse,- and the Fauves. This recognition of the expressive force of non-Western arts was an important influence on the Expressionist movement. Laban's school in Munich and especially his summer courses in Ascona, Switzerland, one of the European centers where artists and intellectuals met before and after the war, provided Wigman with the impetus to develop "absolute" dances. She participated in several of his attempts to create a Gesamtkunstwerk, including his famous Sonnenfest: Tanzhymnits in drei Teilen Sun festival: Dance hymn in three parts , based on Otto Borngraeber's poem, which was staged in Performed in three acts— at sunset, at night, and at sunrise— the work included more conventional music as well as Gerausch-Musik, voices reciting poetry, colorful costumes, and solo as well as group dances illuminated by torches and bonfires.
Laban was one of the great theoreti- cians of modern dance, inventing Labanotation see fig. The pubhc was as Uttle prepared for new forms of dance as it was for innovations in the other arts. After a difficult beginning she had her first great success in Hamburg and from then on was acknowledged as Germany's outstanding dancer.
A few years later she opened her own dance school in Dresden and assembled a group of extraordinarily gifted students with whom she performed all over Ger- many with great success. Her Sieben Tdnze des Lebens Seven dances of life and many of her other choreographed solo and group dances set a standard few later dancers could sustain. Among the members of Wigman s first troupe was Gret Palucca, who after an impressive career opened a school in Dresden, which is still active today. All of these artists left their mark on mod- ern dance, taking leading positions in theater companies or forming their own schools and groups.
The new dance forms inspired many of the visual artists just as some of their works had influenced the gesture patterns of the dancers. Kandinsky used one of Palucca's dances as a model in his Punkt und Linie zu Fldche see fig. Modern dance forms also appeared in the works of Barlach, Kirchner, Klee, Nolde, and Pechstein, among oth- ers.
Poets too tried to capture the spirit of the new dance forms in their lyrics, among them Ivan Goll, Adolf von Hatzfeld, Walter Rheiner, and Alfred Wolfenstein. Modern dancers appear in several novels, among which Alfred Doblin's and Max Krell's works are the best known. A great number of books on modern dance and dancers were published. It is the physical consciousness of the religious sphere in which cosmic vibrations gam expression "39 33 Guenther Illustrations from Wassily Kandinsky, Punkt itnd Linie ; Fldche, This is due not only to the inventive approach to language adopted by writers and poets but also to the use of vague, general terms that had become commonly accepted even though they lacked precise meaning.
The term Weltanschauung discredited since the Nazis used it for their inhumane doctrines could be related to ideology, but in Germany it denoted something different. It contained a smattering of Henri Bergson's antimechanistic and spiritualistic meta- physics, a little of Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra Thus spake Zarathustra , a bit of Georg Simmel's metaphysics of life, and many other fragments. This is not to imply that the philosophical discussions among the Expressionists were not based on careful study; such fragmentation was typical of the conversational tone of the period.
Zeitgeist spirit of the times , a term frequently invoked by writers and critics, presents similar problems. It was regarded not as something that could be identified by means of a careful historical or so- ciological analysis, but as a semi-independent power that forced artists and society to adopt a specific direction in work and in life. Even more complex is the word Geist spirit , which was constantly used by artists within the movement.
Only the context can reveal the writer's intent. The term Seele soul took on a broader meaning; it not only embraced man's spiritual aspect but was also attributed to the nation, to flowers, and to animals and was even used to refer to disembodied emotions. Other terms that are likely to pose problems for the En- glish-speaking public include sozial social and Sozialismus socialism. The latter immediately conjures up a political concept frequently asso- ciated with communism. For most Germans it did not hold this meaning.
They related the term to the only political party standing in opposition to William us regime and thus gave it very positive connotations. Sozial, however, refers to a vague conglomerate of ideas going back to the revolution, to August Bebel and Ferdinand Lasalle, and to the idealism of Marx's Communist Manifesto.
Except for schooled party members, people in general used the term to describe a government policy of protecting the individual from economic exploitation and assisting the un- fortunate while at the same time defending a nearly unlimited freedom. The vagueness of these concepts allowed many Expressionists to wel- come, for a while at least, the Russian Revolution as the solution to the problems of the modern world. This belief faded rather quickly once fur- ther news was received from Russia, but it was also obvious that the socialist-governed Weimar Republic was not the embodiment of the movement's Utopian ideals.
The list of words that defy accurate translation is a long one and may even include the term Feuilleton, which refers to a specific column in German newspapers. The lower quarter of the second page was separated from the news above and was used for a variety of contributions. Some newspapers used it to print novels in installments, but most devoted this area to cultural news: reviews of books, plays, concerts, art exhibitions, and dance performances.
The writers and especially the edi- 34 Guenther tors of these columns frequently exerted great influence on the public by either praising or condemning modern art. Some of the critics became famous, and their articles were read all over Germany, mainly in the coffeehouses where out-of-town and foreign newspapers were available.
Today these articles can be regarded as cultural barometers of the period as long as one keeps the writer's bias in mind. The frustrating vagueness of so many terms parallels the multiplicity of styles that the Expressionist artists developed. No strict definition for Expressionism or even for expressionistic can be given. Viewing the imposing number and variety of graphic works in the Rifkind Study Center within the framework of the cultural history of the Expres- sionist movement makes each work an eloquent testimony to its strength, vitality, and artistic brilliance.
Each work is a profession as well as a confession and, as such, must be seen in context. Why did such a multifarious movement based on such strong emotions and beliefs die? Having noted the vagueness of such terms, one would not wish to lay the blame on Weltanschauung or Zeit- geist. What has frequently been asserted, namely that the Nazis killed the Expressionist movement, is incorrect. It is true that they declared this art to be decadent and degenerate, confiscated it from museums and galleries, suppressed and burned books, prohibited artists from exhibit- ing and, yes, even from working.
But at the time of the Nazi onslaught of , the Expressionist movement was already dead. Page Transparency See More. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. Related Pages. Modegalerie-Bongardt Clothing Brand. Select mode online Clothing Store. Rundholz Clothing Brand.
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