die Brucke
(movement, 1905-1913)

(German, "The Bridge"), group of German expressionist artists, founded in Dresden in 1905, whose work marked the beginning of modern art in Germany. The principal members were the architectural student Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, in whose studio they regularly gathered, and his friends Erich Heckel, Fritz Bleyl, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and, later, Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein. Rejecting academic tradition, realism, and impressionism, they drew inspiration from German medieval and Renaissance art, art nouveau, primitive art, and the French postimpressionists van Gogh, Gauguin, and the fauves. Their name symbolized their bridge of common interests and their link to the future. Most of Die Brücke were untrained in art, but the harsh colors and distorted shapes in their work successfully expressed their strong feelings and vivid imaginations. The dramatic contrasts of black and white in their woodcuts, a medium they revived, were especially effective. The group moved to Berlin in 1910 and disbanded in controversy in 1913.

Artists die Brucke:
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In 1905 the artists’ association “Brücke” was founded by four students of architecture - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff - in the city of Dresden. Their aim was to find new ways of aristic expression and to free themselves from the traditional academic style of the time. The “Brücke” is therefore one of the earliest German artists’ associations which had a crucial impact on the development of classical modern art. The arists collectively created a style which was to be defined within 20th century art history as “Expressionism”...
The Brücke’ has enriched artistic evolution in all genres. Along with painting, watercolor and the drawing, it was, above all, the medium of the graphic print that found its authentic expression through its art. It was in the woodcut especially, with its possibilities for a rigorously graphic buildup and abbreviation of form, that the stylist innovations and formal inventions appeared first, giving it significance as a progressive ‘Brücke’ contribution to the art of the 20th century…
Kirchner founded Die Brücke in Dresden in 1905 with fellow students Karl Schmidt–Rottluff, Erich Heckel, and Fritz Bleyl, all of whom rejected the oppressive traditions and official exhibitions of the art academies. From 1906 until its dissolution in 1913, Die Brücke organized numerous exhibitions and published annual portfolios of prints made by its members…

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