Expressionism is a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Expressionist artists have sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.

Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas


Visual

The style originated principally in Germany and Austria. There were a number of groups of expressionist painters, including Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke.

Expressionism developed as an avant-garde style before the First World War. It remained popular during the Weimar Republic, particularly in Berlin. The style extended to a wide range of the arts, including expressionist architecture, painting, literature, theatre, dance, film and music.

The term is sometimes suggestive of angst. In a historical sense, much older painters such as Matthias Grünewald and El Greco are sometimes termed expressionist, though the term is applied mainly to 20th-century works. The Expressionist emphasis on individual and subjective perspective has been characterized as a reaction to positivism and other artistic styles such as Naturalism and Impressionism.

Written

Poetry

Among the poets associated with German Expressionism were:

  • Jakob van Hoddis
  • Georg Trakl
  • Walter Rheiner
  • Gottfried Benn
  • Georg Heym
  • Else Lasker-Schüler
  • Ernst Stadler
  • August Stramm
  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926): The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910)
  • Geo Milev
  • T. S. Eliot
  • Rudolf Broby-Johansen
  • Tom Kristensen
  • Pär Lagerkvist
  • Harald Landt Momberg
  • Edith Södergran

Prose

  • Franz Kafka (1883–1924): "The Metamorphosis" (1915), The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926)
  • Alfred Döblin (1878–1957): Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)
  • Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957)
  • Djuna Barnes (1892–1982): Nightwood (1936)
  • Malcolm Lowry (1909–1957): Under the Volcano (1947)
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • James Joyce (1882–1941): "The Nighttown" section of Ulysses (1922)
  • Patrick White (1912–1990)
  • D. H. Lawrence
  • Sheila Watson: Double Hook
  • Elias Canetti: Auto-da-Fé
  • Thomas Pynchon
  • William Faulkner
  • James Hanley (1897–1985)
  • Raul Brandão (1867–1930): Húmus (1917)

Notable Artists

  • Heinrich Campendonk
  • Emil Nolde
  • Rolf Nesch
  • Franz Marc
  • Arshil Gorky
  • Ernst Barlach
  • Wilhelm Lehmbruck
  • Erich Heckel
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker
  • Otto Dix
  • Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Max Beckmann
  • Conrad Felixmüller
  • Carl Hofer
  • August Macke
  • Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler
  • Ludwig Meidner
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker
  • Gabriele Münter
  • Minas Avetisyan
  • Käthe Schmidt Kollwitz
  • Egon Schiele
  • Oskar Kokoschka
  • Zinaida Serebriakova
  • Wassily Kandinsky
  • Franz Marc
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Ferdinand Hodler
  • Henri Matisse
  • Alexei Jawlensky
  • Charles Eyck
  • Willem Hofhuizen
  • Jan Sluyters
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Jan Wiegers
  • Hendrik Werkman
  • Constant Permeke
  • Gust De Smet
  • Frits Van den Berghe
  • James Ensor
  • Albert Droesbeke.
  • Georges Rouault
  • Chaim Soutine
  • Edvard Munch
  • Egon Schiele
  • Carl Eugen Keel
  • Mário Eloy

Subgenres

German Expressionism

German expressionism was an early twentieth century German art movement that emphasized the artist's inner feelings or ideas over replicating reality, and was characterised by simplified shapes, bright colours and gestural marks or brushstrokes. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

Gallery

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