Facebook Pixel
Main SR only Anker

Expressionism

The Origin of Angst

Abstract Expressionism (Basic Art Series)

Abstract Expressionism

US$ 16
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

US$ 200
Kandinsky (Basic Art Series)

Kandinsky

US$ 16
Pollock (Basic Art Series)

Pollock

US$ 16
Schiele (Basic Art Series)

Schiele

US$ 16

From the Archives

Events

Expressionism

Expressionism was a modernist art movement that sought to depict emotional states beyond visible reality, immersing the self completely within the painting process. These artists distanced themselves from painting the natural world in flux, like the work of the Impressionists, which they perceived as pretty, innocuous decoration for the home and fireside. Instead, Expressionists privileged the internal emotional landscape of the individual, using vivid color, brutally reduced forms, and strange angles to created a distorted, exaggerated material world representative of our psyche. Drawing inspiration from work as early as that of El Greco, Expressionism developed from the early 1900s to 1930s, its brash and “ugly” aesthetic permeating the work of German groups Die Brücke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Bringing crude forms and clashing colors to the Weimar Republic, this firmly grounded the expressionist movement into the early 20th century.

Screaming, writhing, and warping, many key Expressionist works detail states of extreme emotion at the expense of “objective” reality. These images had a fraught relationship with dominant conventions of artistic representation, including Realism and Naturalism. Alongside other movements like Cubism, Surrealism, and Dadaism, Expressionists conjured up images of the collective anxiety felt by those alienated by city life, giving a face to the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and absence of authenticity and spirituality.

TASCHEN’s books on Expressionism include a wide range of Basic Art Series titles detailing the careers of precursors and most prominent practitioners, as well as later artists directly drawing upon the Expressionist aesthetic. From painting to film, theater to literature, and architecture to dance, these artists left no discipline untouched in their quest to depict the emotional and physical aftermath of war and social upheaval.