|Max Beckmann's drypoint Holzbrücke is among the German Expressionist works in our March 5 auction.|
The auction includes notable prints and drawings by Max Beckmann, Lovis
Corinth, Lyonel Feininger, Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky,
Käthe Kollwitz, Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein, as well as artists associated with the movement, such as Edvard Munch and Paul Klee. Like their French
counterparts, the German Expressionists rejected the naturalistic style
accepted by the academy, taking on a darker aesthetic in light of impending political and military upheaval.
Printmaking was especially
attractive to the Expressionists who looked to Schongauer and Dürer, the 15th and 16th century German pioneers of the medium,
and to Medieval German aesthetics and techniques. In the years following World
War I, inflation spurred print demand in Germany as a more affordable means of
art collecting. Production decreased as the Nazi party rose to power and
condemned Modernism, destroying much of what Expressionist artists had created,
thereby contributing to the scarcity of many of their works.
|Lot 473: Feininger's Die Grüne Brücke, etching, 1910-11, |
clearly pays homage to German Old Masters.
Feininger's 1910-11 etching Die
Grüne Brücke (lot 473,)
reflects Expressionist interest in urban life. This etching was
based on Feininger's 1909 oil painting and was completed just as the group Der
Blaue Reiter came together in
Munich. The painting incorporates Feininger's characteristic experimentation with
color with a striking green, providing the work its title, i.e. The Green Bridge, and the choice to
create an etching of the same subject indicates the importance of the work.
|Lot 448: Nolde's Diskussion, color lithograph on Japan paper, 1913, |
one of only six impressions to come to auction in the past 30 years.
artists such as Emil Nolde also utilized lithography to experiment
with color. Nolde, who was associated with the group Die Brücke in Dresden, printed his 1913 color
lithograph Diskussion (lot 448) yellow and beige, as seen in the March 5 auction, but also in red. Diskussion is similar to Nolde's
1915 painting Die Zinsmünze(The Tribute Money),
and depicts a scene in which Jesus and Peter are asked to pay taxes. Expressionists
often used bible scenes to incorporate spirituality into their art during
|Lot 423: Kandinsky's Radierung für den Piper-verlag, drypoint, 1924, rarely appears at auction.|
Kandinsky's scarce drypoint, Radierung
für den Piper-verlag, 1924 (lot 423), reflects Expressionism's turn towards
abstraction. Kandinsky is widely accepted as the originator of truly abstract
works such as this 1924 drypoint. The print was created during the artist's tenure at the Weimar Bauhaus, where Walter Gropius encouraged avant-garde
printmaking as a means of expression. The etching's publisher, Piper Verlag,
also published Der Blaue Reiter's Almanac in 1912.
Labels: Diana Flatto, Emil Nolde, German Expressionism, LACMA, Lyonel Feininger, Max Beckmann, Neue Galerie, Prints and Drawings, Wassily Kandinsky