The novel reality of the modern city at the beginning of the 20th century is mirrored in both the art of the painters of the »Brücke« group and in Expressionist poetry. The drive toward individual and artistic emancipation, the prospect of meeting like-minded people, and the open-mindedness of its public is what drew the avant-garde to Berlin. »The Heightening of nervous life« (Georg Simmel) in this metropolis – an accelerated pace of living as well as the coincidence of a diverse range of sensations – proves ambivalent: it fosters creativity and offers a rich spectrum of themes for innovative artistic expression, but it is also a strain on the psyche. The fascination of a life free from the empire’s prevailing norms is counteracted by a feeling of being lost in an anonymous mass society.
This publication pairs imagery by the »Brücke« artists with poems by notable Expressionist writers from the years 1910 to 1914. It becomes evident how the younger generation of painters and writers engaged with the same set of topics through their specific forms of expression: the dawn of a new era, industrial society, the attractions of metropolitan life, the masses versus the individual, a desire to leave the city and a yearning for nature, and finally, the horrors of the World War.
Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Max Pechstein, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Gottfried Benn, Ernst Blass, Paul Boldt, Arthur Drey, Albert Ehrenstein, Georg Heym, Jakob van Hoddis, Wilhelm Klemm, Else Lasker-Schüler, Alfred Lichtenstein, Ernst Wilhelm Lotz, August Stramm, Alfred Wolfenstein
Editor: Jürgen Baumgarten, Magdalena M. Moeller
Authors: Jürgen Baumgarten, Magdalena M. Moeller
Designed by Kehrer Design
17 x 20 cm
58 color ills.