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Brucke: The Birth of Expressionism in Dresden and Berlin, 1905-1913

Brucke: The Birth of Expressionism in Dresden and Berlin, 1905-1913

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The Brucke group was founded in 1905 by four students in Dresden: Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The name Brucke, which means "bridge" in German, was chosen to represent their intention of linking the art of the past with that of the future. Drawing on diverse sources, ranging from medieval woodcuts to African and Oceanic art, they fused these influences into a highly distinctive style.
Living and working communally, the Brucke artists shared a fervent faith in a Utopian future. Through their art, they sought to restore a sense of value and unity in a fragmenting world. With their emphasis on vivid color and emotional directness, these artists gave birth to German Expressionism.
This publication accompanies an exhibition organized by Reinhold Heller at the Neue Galerie New York. It is the first major museum exhibition devoted to these artists ever held in the United States.
Essays examine the Brucke through its various manifestations: vivid renderings of rural life; candid studio portraits; and searing, critical depictions of the rapidly changing urban milieu. Together, they demonstrate how this group of young firebrands invigorated and altered the art of their time.