Smith-German Expressionism Timeline

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  • Period: to

    German Expressionism

  • Blue Horse I

    Blue Horse I
    Franz Marc painted this work with the surrealism of expressionism in mind. His work is an example of the way in which we often assume German Expressionism was free of color, but many work contained bright colors such as the ones Marc used here.
  • Six Dancers

    Six Dancers
    Painted by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, this work is one that paints the dancers with harsh lines and little shading, while still taking on the bright colors of the movement. We can see the way the artist uses the same color to depict the skin and the dress of the dancers creating muddled lines between skin tone and ballet dress. This lack of definition is signature of the way artists in expressionism used a harshness to subvert reality.
  • Two Mythical Animals

    Two Mythical Animals
    Franz Marc created this work with the highly stylized surrealism of expressionism in mind. He was quite young when he saw combat in WW1, and subsequently much of his art reflects the harsh lines and abstract nature of war.
  • Berlin Street Scene

    Berlin Street Scene
    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner started a cycle of painting from 1913 -1915. In this cycle, he did a series of street scenes, the most famous of these is Berlin Street Scene. The painting features two men greeting two female prostitutes. While this painting is defined as expressionism, it also fits into the category of futurism as well.
  • Seated Youth

    Seated Youth
    Created by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, this sculpture was inspired by his work in german Hospitals after World War 1. Before this work, he lived and sculpted i Paris, his works seeming much more youthful and bright. His leaning into dark subject matter began after his move to Germany at the beginning of the war.
  • Death as Juggler

    Death as Juggler
    Chrisitan Rohlfs was, like many Germans, distressed with the outcomes of World War 1 that left the country in ruin. In this work he sought to work with a bit of dark irony. The juxtaposition of the joy associated with the task of the juggler with his impending death is a theme incredibly relevant to the German people.
  • Einstein Tower, Potsdam

    Einstein Tower, Potsdam
    Erich Mendelsohn designed this building in 1920 and it exists to this day as an observatory in Postdam. It became operational in 1924 after a fund raising drive. The structure was meant to be made from concrete, but shortages from the war caused it to be built from brick and covered in stucco.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    Robert Weine directed this tentpole of German expressionism in 1921. Recognized as a classic horror, this silent film was a product of the impending war and the way in which those in authority betrayed the trust of the German people. The writers of the film were two pacifists that decided to depict the way in which they felt the looming threat of despair hunting them the way the namesake of the film does.
  • Niedersachsenstein, Worpswede

    Niedersachsenstein, Worpswede
    This sculpture of Bernhard Hoetger still exists in Worpswede today as a popular tourist attraction. There are several works in the town by this artist that still remain today. the work has the shape of a bird, however, the signature expressionist harsh lines and surreal shape fall in line with tradition.
  • White Zig Zags

    White Zig Zags
    Created by Wassily Kandinsky this is a work of oil on a canvas. This is an example of the way in which bright color was incorporated into the movement as opposed to the stereotype of German expressionism being bound by dark black and grey.
  • Nosferatu

    This F. W. Murnau directed horror film is considered one of the most iconic from the German expressionist movement. The story is an unofficial adaptation of the novel "Dracula," and follows a vampire that welcomes unexpected visitors into his house only to terrorize them. The film features several aspects of expressionism including architecture, high exposure, dramatized shadows and surrealist camera angles.
  • Interior Rhine Hall at the GeSoLei Exhibition, Düsseldorf)

    Interior Rhine Hall at the GeSoLei Exhibition, Düsseldorf)
    The GeSoLei exhibit is a massive trade fair in the Weimer Republic. Rhine Hall was the structure that held this event in 1925. The surreal, top heavy building is one that makes the eye travel immediately to the top of the structure.
  • Pallottiner Church of St. Marien, Limburg an der Lahn

    Pallottiner Church of St. Marien, Limburg an der Lahn
    Jan Hubert Pinand planned this expressionist church in between 1925 and 1927. The two spires give the illusion of two separate towers tricking the eye into believing the architecture is larger than it actually is. Today it is considered a cultural monument.
  • Metropolis

    This Fritz Lang directed sci-fi drama that is Metropolis. The plot follows a well to do son of the City Master that attempts to come together with a figurehead of the workers to unite the two worlds. The film was criticized for its length, and the cuts were originally lost until a partial original was found and restored in 2010.
  • Evangelical Church of the Cross, Entrance, Berlin-Schmargendorf

    Evangelical Church of the Cross, Entrance, Berlin-Schmargendorf
    A church still operational today was designed by Ernst Paulus and his son Günther Paulus. The architects actually were entered into a contest in hopes of winning the opportunity to build the structure. They won, but the world war postponed the building. Since then, it has has several additions to meet the need of the community.
  • The Singing Man

    The Singing Man
    The Singing Man by Ernst Barlach was an act of escapism. As the man exists completely enthralled with the song in his head, he closes his eyes, shut off from the world. In terms of the events of the era, these moments of escape were few and far between.
  • Church of the Resurrection, Essen

    Church of the Resurrection, Essen
    Built by Otto Bartning in 1929, this structure feature a circular body and panels that surround the structure. Still operational today, the church stands as an example to German expressionism in its lack of traditional structure.
  • Magdeburger Ehrenmal

    Magdeburger Ehrenmal
    This work by sculptor Ernst Barlach was not made of clay or stone, but rather wood. The artist is quoted saying the three figures are human representations of hardship, death and despair. The sculpture was banned from the church in 1937, but sits in the cathedral today.
  • M (Film)

    M (Film)
    This film by Fritz Lans is widely regarded as one of the most recognizable films from the German Expressionist movement. The film features a horror/suspense plot surrounding a town attempting to deduce the criminal that is the root of several missing children. The surreal and shadow filled filming process puts an expressionist filter on a film that is otherwise grounded in reality.
  • Portrait of Mary Wigman

    Portrait of Mary Wigman
    Mary Wigman was considered to be an expressionist dancer. The german born dancer performed dance, but was known for her choreography and choreographed for numerous events using non western music themes, such as fife, gongs and bells. the subject matter of her dances were primarily dark and dealt with themes of death.