Dover Book with CD-ROM

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Wikipedia has an in depth article about this art movement. They say: "Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality."

The article goes on to name various writers and artists who were precursors to Expressionism, such as August Strindberg and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, both of whose works are reviewed on this site. Most of the artists mentioned are represented in this collection. This movement got into full swing around 1913. It is primarily associated with German artists, but artists of other nationalities are included as well. Wikipedia also points ou that Expressionism over lapped with other "isms," such as Futurism, Vorticism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Dada. It is also a reaction to the "dehumanizing effect of industrialization."

From a personal commentary, my perception of Expressionism is that it is usually grotesque and distorted in a way that evokes a feeling of horror, repulsion or agitation. Sometimes. There are other works in this collection that are calm and almost peaceful and pleasing to the eye. One thing they all have in common is a certain complexity, where one may study the work over and again, and always find new ways to perceive it.

Each work in the collection includes the name of the artist, name and date of the work, plus its number on the CD-ROM, and also an index of all the works, the artist's birth and death years, and the medium used. The works appear in alphabetical order by the artist's name.

As always, I am including a broad selection to give you an idea of what is included in this book. You may mouse-over any image to obtain additional information.

Otto Dix: Dr. Hans Koch, 1921
This is an example of the grotesque—certainly not the look of a friendly family physician!

August Macke: Girls Under Trees, 1914
Here is an example of one that is pleasing to the eye and not evoking any feeling of horror, but is rather calm and peaceful.

Max Kaus: Couple, 1920
This work is just plain uncomfortable. It evokes the feeling of voyeurism—like you are intruding in a private, intimate, and embarrassing situation.

Conrad Felixmüller: Raoul Hausmann, 1920
This one makes you feel like your are looking at a person with two distinct personalities—seeing them expressed both at once. Not a pretty picture!

George Grosz: Suicide, 1916
Here is one emotionally-charged painting. We want to know who the people are, what their relationships were, and what provoked the suicide.

Wassily Kandinsky: Improvization VII, 1913
I have always liked Kandinsky. Much of his stuff is so distorted that it does not seem grotesque or repulsive, but intricate and complex—very much to observe and ponder.

Franz Marc: The Yellow Cow, 1911
What would a collection of Expressionist paintings be without this quite popular one. I find it kind of charming and delightful.

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