The German Expressionists: A Generation in Revolt

By Bernard S. Myers | Go to book overview

inate the picture space, with heads often touching the top of the frame and feet almost invariably cut off. Effectiveness is increased by the use of a Nolde-type frame made of broad, uncarved strips of black wood. The hands in this picture suggest SchmidtRottluff (cf. Evening by the Sea), as does its angularity of form and almost mystical intensity of expression.

Between his beginnings as an artist and the rise of the Nazis, Scholz became known as an important social realist of the time. Pictures like the gaunt Rottluff-like Homeworker, 1930, or the pathetic Orphans, 1931, led to attacks by 'Das Schwarze Korps,' one of the official Nazi newspapers. As late as 1932, Scholz showed in the International Workers Aid exhibition called "Women in Need." His last showing of the Nazi period was at the van der Heyde Gallery in Berlin for a few picked friends and sympathizers. In 1939 he gave up the relative security of a newspaper job to go and live in an ordinary Tyrolean village where hard-working people knew nothing but privation. These were the people whose lives, whose everyday joys and sorrows, Scholz portrayed so feelingly.

Scholz had been interested in religious scenes even during his Berlin period. The Procession of Lights, 1934, in addition to its primitivistic intensity of mood, shows the linear emphases and powerful emotive color associated with Brücke art, and is generally comparable to Schmidt-Rottluff at one point in his career. Scholz comes very close to his subjects, crowding the picture space, as heads reach to the top and feet disappear.

As early as 1933, Scholz began to do triptychs of religious or semireligious content, such as The Dead child, 1933, slightly later The Little Jesus, and the very effective Man of Sorrows, 1937 (Fig. 179). These works, over and above their concentrated force, have an unusual compositional system when compared with the triptychs of Heckel or Beckmann. In the last-named work Scholz gets so close to his subjects that only the upper part of a sculpturesque Christ is visible in the central panel, while the side wings show immense brooding heads of a man and woman respectively. The shock quality of this unusual arrangement is augmented by the brutal drawing and the brilliance of color.

His work of the era after the Second World War is, for the most part, not comparable to the overt power expressed in many

Walther Gramatté: Tolstoi's Living Corpse 1919

earlier works. He became mystically rather than plastically and emotively religious, his forms considerably softened. Scholz's importance for our story lies in his continuous production of fine Expressionist work throughout the thirties.

The Brücke tradition survived in men younger than either Kluth or Scholz, as can be seen in the graphics of Erwin Maier (b. 1911), Affred Wais (b. 1905), Hans Fähnle (b. 1903), and others.


Notes
119
Mention might also be made of the possible influence of the Brücke style on the Mexican renaissance of the twenties and thirties, especially on the art of Orozco who, although he did not visit Europe until 1932, may well have been affected through magazine and book illustrations, prints, etc.
120
E. g. Georg Tappert, Moritz Melzer, and H. Richter, whose Brückederived prints may be seen in the prewar issues of 'Der Sturm.'
121
Adolf Behne, "Werner Scholz" Potsdam, Stichnote Verlag, 1948, p. 5.

-180-

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The German Expressionists: A Generation in Revolt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments 1
  • Contents 3
  • List of Illustrations 5
  • The Background 11
  • Chapter 1 - The Historical Background 11
  • Notes 14
  • Chapter 2 - The Artistic Background Nineteenth-Century Germany 15
  • Notes 17
  • Chapter 3 - Naturalism, Impressionism, and Social Realism 18
  • Notes 24
  • Chapter 4 - Mystical and Symbolic Forerunners 25
  • Notes 34
  • Chapter 5 the Expressionist Movement 35
  • Notes 40
  • Independent Expressionists 53
  • Chapter 6 - Paula Modersohn-Becker 53
  • Notes 57
  • Chapter 7 - Oskar Kokoschka 58
  • Notes 70
  • Chapter 8 - Ludwig Meidner 71
  • Notes 72
  • Chapter 9 - Christian Rohlfs 73
  • Notes 77
  • Chapter 10 - Ernst Barlach 78
  • Notes 83
  • Chapter 11 - Karl Hofer 84
  • Notes 87
  • Chapter 12 - Fauve Expressionists and Religious Expressionism 88
  • Notes 94
  • Die Brücke 109
  • Chapter 13 - The Brücke Group 109
  • Notes 123
  • Chapter 14 - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. 125
  • Notes 138
  • Chapter 15 - Karl Schmidt-Rottluff 139
  • Notes 145
  • Chapter 16 - Erich Heckel 146
  • Notes 152
  • Chapter 17 - Emil Nolde 153
  • Notes 166
  • Chapter 18 - Max Pechstein 167
  • Notes 172
  • Chapter 19 - Otto Mueller 173
  • Notes 176
  • Chapter 20 - Brüke Followers 177
  • Notes 180
  • Der Blaue Reiter 197
  • Chapter 21 - The Blue Rider Artists 197
  • Notes 206
  • Chapter 22 - Wassily Kandinsky 208
  • Notes 218
  • Chapter 23 - Franz Marc 219
  • Notes 228
  • Chapter 24 - Paul Klee 229
  • Notes 239
  • Chapter 25 - August Macke 240
  • Notes 244
  • Chapter 26 - Heinrich Campendonk 245
  • Notes 246
  • Chapter 27 - Lyonel Feininger 248
  • Notes 250
  • Chapter 28 - Alexej Von Jawlensky 252
  • Notes 254
  • Chapter 29 - Alfred Kubin 256
  • Notes 258
  • The Revolution and New Objectivity 275
  • Chapter 30 - The Revolution and the Socialist Interlude 275
  • Notes 279
  • Chapter 31 - The New Objectivity 280
  • Notes 286
  • Chapter 32 the Verists: Grosz and Dix 287
  • Notes 293
  • Chapter 33 - Max Beckmann 294
  • Notes 307
  • Chapter 34 - The Monumentalists 308
  • Notes 311
  • Chapter 35 - After Hitler 312
  • Notes 312
  • Bibliography 369
  • Index 390
  • Errata 401
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