ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER

Talented German painter and printmaker Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is best known for founding an artist group called The Bridge, a key group that led the foundation of 20th century German Expressionism. They rejected traditional art forms and created new modes of artistic expression, forming a “bridge” between styles of the past and present. Kirchner received international recognition. His expressive use of crude, angry lines and vibrant, unnatural colors depicted Kirchner’s fears and anxieties related to the modern world. The human figure was pivotal to his work – mainly, the human figure in motion. Kirchner denied being influenced by other great artists even though the stylings of Henri Mattisse and Edvard Munch are apparent in his work. Kirchner studied architecture, but transitioned to focus on art. He went to war where he had a breakdown and was discharged. Toward the end of his career, his work was branded indecent by Nazis and over 600 of his works were either sold without his consent or destroyed. He committed suicide by gunshot.

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