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Class 8 (2/11/2016)

 Otto Müller
 Emil Nolde
Der Blaue Reiter
 Vasily Kandinsky
 Franz Marc
 Käthe Kollwitz
 Oskar Kokoschka

German Expressionism II
Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) {Image of group}
Founded in Munich 1911
Seated: Wassily Kandisky
Much bigger area back in the day
Munich in the south of Germany, near Austria
Both were allies
Germany had its own colonies; some in Africa; one in Asia
Munich was Germany’s most sophisticated, international city
Art Nouveau
Wassily (Vassily) Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Russian artist working in Germany 1910-WWI
Studied and became a professor of economics in Russia started painting at age 30
Came to Munich 1896 to study at art academy there
Phalanx Group (symbolist), Munich
How line and color affected the mind?
Kandinsky ran the Phalanx Art School
Kandinsky traveled often to small Bavarian town of Murnau (on the edge of the Alps)
Visited Paris and saw Fauve art but wanted something more spiritual, akin to the work of
Kandinsky. Landscape with Tower (Murnau), 1908, o/cardboard
19 century Russian embroidery
Kandinsky and Gabriel Munter studied Russian folk art
Woman he loved during the time
Influenced also by traditional Russian painting on glass
Part of an ancient tradition of esoteric philosophy and mystiscism
Was the most widespread of spiritual cults, beginning in the late 19th cent. And persisting
until WWI
Belief in a spiritual plane of reality-related to Symbolist Theory in art
Imperfect shadow in the cave (Plato teaching)
Kandinsky interested in Theosophy
He is more interested in spiritual meaning
In 1910 writes and publishes the first important theoretical treatise on art: modern art’s first art
Wrote it in German
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Ultimate evolution of symbolist ideas into a complete theory of Nonobjective painting based
upon an analogy with music
Kandinsky wrote: “color is key. Eye is the hammer. Souls is the piano with it s many chords.
Artist is the hand by touching this or that key sets the soul vibrating automatically.”
Further developing symbolism
Kandinsky’s most famous group
The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter)
Blue was the most spiritual color
First journal: writings, theories and arts
Kandinsky, Cover of the Blue Rider Almanac, 1912, wood cut
Also published part of his book in the journal the group began to publish, filledd
with illustrations and interpretive essays
Der Blaue Reiter was more symbolist and spiritual (on the whole) than The Bridge
Nonobjective, nonrepresentational, totally abstract (??)
Kandinsky, Composition IV, 1911, o/c, over 5’ h and 8’ long
Mostly nonobjective, but can be argued it could be landscape
Making you feel something; revolutionary
Totally abstract
Nonobjective (??)
Musical analogy: rhythm, tone, timbre, and harmony
Kandinsky is credited with creating the first totally nonobjective paintings
How can a painting convey meaning if we don’t recognize anything in it?
Most famous painting
Feelings conveyed through color but with a described object
Problem of meaning
Artist is trying to convey meaning in some way
Kandinsky. Black Lines, 1913, o/c, approx. 51 x 51”
Painting done just before the outbreak of WWI
Kandinsky, Sketch I for Composition VII, 1913, o/c
Much louder; brass, cymbals
Social matrix on which he belongs in for the groups
Franz Marc (1880-1916)
German, born in Munich
Visited Paris, admired Van Gogh
Visited Greece
Wanted something more out of art; something more meaningful
Symbolist, nature inspired, pantheistic
Horses reference “blue rider”
Number 3 references apocalypse in Theosophy
Marc painted this before he left to serve in the war
Marc. Fate of the Animals, 1913. o/c 77 x 105”, Basel
Original title: “the Tree shows their Rings, the Animals show their Veins”
Pigs; wolves; horses; tree stumps; lightening out of the sky
Damaged during WWI
Restored long after the war
On Reverse side Marc wrote: “And All Being Is Flaming Suffering”
Killed in the war before he was going to be dismissed
Marc. Fighting Forms. 1914, o/c. Munich
Trying his hand at nonobjective painting
Stress about war that he felt
Kä the Kollwitz (1867-1943) [Kä the Schmidt]
Lived in Berlin, 1891-1941
Her husband was a doctor who administered to the poor
Independent German Expressionist
Not a member of the Blue Rider
She was a prodigy
Kollwitz, Self-Portrait, 1899, etching
Not a painter. Why?
Affect more people; paintings are sold more to rich people or private
She focused on prints (and much later public sculpture) art forms that
could reach a wider audience
From a series about a violent peasant’s revolution in German in the 16th cent.
Kollwitz. “Outbreak,” Peasant’s War Series. 1903, etching with pen and ink
Black Anna who screamed at people to grab their pitch forks to rebel against the
feudal lords
Saw herself as Black Anna
Image of a strong woman
“Black Anna” strong, outraged female leader-not a femme fatale
Kollwitz. “The Widow I” War Cycle series, 1923, woodcut
Pregnant; husband killed in the war
See the face and hands (very good at portraying emotion in the hands)
Kollwitz. “The Parents” War Cycle series. woodcut
Last Resort. 1925, woodcut
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
Austrian Expressionism
Vienna: “the artist Freud”
Had a poor background, eventually studied under members of the Vienna Secession
His talent got him to rise up to work
Kokoschka, Self-Portrait. 1917, o/c
Almost like calligraphy
Tangled masses of brush strokes
Same intensity like Van Gogh
Kokoschka. The Bride of the Wind. 1914, o/c, 6 x 8 ½’
Self-portrait with Anna (Schindler) Mahler
Femme fatalle
He fell head over heels for and thought he was going to go crazy
He looks tired; image after she left him
Intensity of his feelings
Similar to Van Gogh’s Starry Night
He was aware of Van Gogh’s work
German Expressionism also existed in film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligeri, 1920, dir. Robert Wiene
screen shot
Unknown artist, Poster for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligeri, 1920