Painting with red, blue and green colors, depicting a country side landscape

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Deichdurchbruch, 1910 Photo: Nick Ash, Brücke-Museum Berlin © Karl Schmidt-Rottluff / Bildupphovsrätt 2023

German Expressionism

The Artist Group Brücke and the Beginnings of Modernism

21.9 2024 – 9.3 2025


Opens in 59 days

The artist group Brücke is Germany’s most important contribution to international modernism. The group was formed in Dresden in 1905 by the four young architecture students Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Together they developed a painting style with vivid colours, simplified forms and large colour fields that express internal feelings, rather than reproducing an external reality.

Die Brücke (bridge) wanted to revive the field of art and break with the prevailing strict moral norms of the German Empire. The artists were inspired by the likes of Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, their motifs including people and nature. They engaged in nude studies, painted portraits, and depicted scenes from the studio where life and art merged. After relocating to the capital, Berlin, in 1911, big city life became another focus of their work.

Die Brücke formulated manifestos, invited supporters to become members, organised their own exhibitions and tours, as well as designing their own catalogues and posters. The group disbanded in 1913, but their collaboration and marketing strategies have been inspirational for several generations of artists.

The exhibition is a collaboration with the Brücke Museum in Berlin, which has the most extensive collection of the artist group’s work. The exhibition encompasses around two hundred artworks in a variety of media – painting, woodcuts, works on paper and sculpture.

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