What is Expressionism:

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Expressionism

Expressionism was an avant-garde artistic movement in opposition to French impressionism .

The idea of ​​expressionism was of art as action, in the artist’s conception of the image in an emotional, visceral, sometimes violent way, in which colors and shapes do not correspond to direct reality.

Expressionism definition

A style of painting, music, or drama in which the artist or writer seeks to express the inner world of emotion rather than external reality.

The concept was first used by Herwath Walden in his 1912 magazine “Der Sturm” (The Storm). It had space mainly mainly in Germany, so it may also be called German Expressionism , and had the influence of primitive tribal art. African women.

The works rescued a bias of social criticism inserted in the arts, with daily scenes portrayed without any restraint by the artist, dramatized, with many thematic series about sex and death.

Expressionists acted in opposition to the impression of world impression promoted by impressionists like Claude Monet, of the ethereal nature illustrated by the artist.

The origin of the references of expressionism comes from the works of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch, artists who already used distortions and strong emotional charge.


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Characteristics of Expressionism

  • Art as action
  • Rejection of the world impression
  • Use of distorted and thick lines
  • Emotional and subjective expression of the author
  • Radical simplification of forms
  • Use of strong colors
  • Ink and brush intensity on canvas

Learn more about the characteristics of expressionism.

Top Artists of Expressionism

The artists of expressionism were divided into two groups:

Die Brücke (The Bridge)

Influenced by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse. The group consisted of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Fritz Bleyl, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, and Otto Mueller.

Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Knight)

Influenced by Kandinsky, they used more subtle tones and their themes were around spirituality. The group included artists Max Beckmann, Käthe Kollwitz, Ernst Barlach and Wilhelm Lehmbruck.

Abstract Expressionist Artists
Abstract Expressionist Artists

Abstract Expressionism

Strand of Expressionism, emerged in New York in the mid-twentieth century, just after World War II. The postwar period made the United States a new artistic center, and this union of creatives gave rise to movements such as Abstract Expressionism. Arshile Gorky, an Armenian painter who emigrated to New York, pioneered the style. Followed by names like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Isamu Noguchi.

Abstract expressionism was motivated by the negation of traditional techniques, and took a critical stance towards society, dialoguing with the avant-garde in the areas of psychology, anthropology, literature, music and cinema.

The main name of expressionists in Brazil was Anita Malfatti, who introduced the European artistic vanguards to Brazilian circles. Lasar Segall, Oswaldo Goeldi, Flávio de Carvalho and Iberê Camargo can also be mentioned.

See also: Avant-garde and Modern Art.

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