Die Brücke

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Fritz Bleyl, 1906: 'Brücke', lithographic poster for the first Die Brücke exhibition in Dresden, 1906
Kirchner, 1910: design of the poster for the exhibition of Die Brücke, in gallery Arnold in Dresden, 1910
Kirchner, 1914: 'View from the Window / Blick aus dem Fenster', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, U.S.
Erich Heckel, 1918: 'Portrait of a Man', a self-portrait in colored woodcut on paper; current location, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. U.S.
Otto Mueller, 1919: 'Three Nudes in a Landscape / Drei Akte in Landschaft', tempera on canvas; cuurent location: Brücke Museum, in Berlin

Die Brücke, described in sourced art quotes. Die Brücke (The Bridge) was a group of young artists, who came together since 1905 - first in Dresden and later in Berlin - as a part of the whole art movement German Expressionism. Die Brücke rejected the approach of Impressionism in art and searched for intensive and emotional painting by using emotive and unbroken colors in strong forms. Brücke artists refused any abstraction.


Sorted chronologically, by date of the quote

1905 – 1914[edit]

  • With faith in evolution, in a new generation of creators and connoisseurs, we call together all youth. And as youths, who embody the future, we want to free our lives and limbs from the long-established older powers. Anyone who renders his creative drive directly and genuinely is one of us
    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1906); his proclamation for the first exhibition at the Karl-Max Seifert lamp factory and showroom in September and October, 1906; as quoted in Styles, Schools and Movements: The Essential Encyclopaedic Guide to Modern Art, ed. Amy Dempsey (2010) Thames & Hudson. p. 74
  • The struggle for existence is very difficult here [Die Brücke-artists moved from Dresden to Berlin in 1911], but the possibilities are also greater. I hope that we can create a fruitful new school and convince many new friends of the value of our efforts.
    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1906), in a letter to Louise Schiefler, 5 November 1911; as quoted in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Grosstad, Eros und Natur, aus der verborgenen Sammlungen der Region, Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst Germany, 2005, pp. 113-114
  • To go straight to the point.. ..one of the aims of Die Brücke is to attract all the revolutionary and fermenting elements to itself - that's the meaning of the name, 'Brücke.'
  • [Their] things [works of Die Brücke artists] must be exhibited. But I think it is incorrect to immortalize them in the document [Almanac?] of our modern art (and, this is what our book ought to be) or as a more or less decisive, leading factor. At any rate I am against large reproductions [for Die Brücke paintings in The Blaue Reiter Almanac].
    • Kandinsky, in a letter, to Franz Marc, ( 2 Febr 1912), quoted in 'Lankheit 20'; as quoted in Movement, Manifesto, Melee: The Modernist Group, 1910-1914, Milton A. Cohen, Lexington Books, Sep 14, 2004, p. 71

1915 - 1935[edit]

  • My time for circuses, and 'cocottes' and company is over [referring to his wild 'Brücke'-years in Berlin]. I made what I could out of it, and I do not think it had been done in that way before. Otherwise there is nothing to link me with those 'événements'. During my 7 years in Berlin I let the whole essence of that kind of thing seep into me so thoroughly that I now know it back to front, and can leave it. Now I have other tasks, and they lie here {Switzerland].. .I can not go down again into the throng. I am more than ever afraid of crowds.
    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1919), his quote from a letter to architect Henry van de Velde, Frauenkirch, 5 July 1919; as quoted in Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963, pp. 224-225

1935 and later[edit]

  • The name Brücke, or Bridge, is thought to have derived from the writing of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) who saw man as a bridge rather then an end point. In the Brücke program [ of 1906] these young men call on 'all youth' who expressed themselves 'directly and authentically' to break with 'older, well-established powers'. This sense of rebellion can be considered part of a broader German youth movement, reacting to the effects of rapid industrialization and the rise of a moneyed middle-class, and against the complacency that was identified with the Wilhelminian era of German ruler Kaiser Wilhelm II.
    • w:Deborah Wye, in 'Introduction: Stetting the Stage', Kirchner and the Berlin street, MOMA, New York 2008, p. 20
  • Brücke's stated aim was 'to obtain a freedom of movement and of life for ourselves...'. And Kirchner later described his artist friends as those, 'whose way of life, home and work was strange to the normal person.. ..and was driven by the very naive idea and pure need to bring life and art into harmony with one another.' Brücke artists often worked in a communal fashion in each other's studios, which they decorated, sometimes collectively. They also vacationed together, along with their models and girlfriends. Kirchner characterized the group as 'one big family'. When members traveled, postcards with drawings would be exchanged, continuing the artistic dialogue, whether from the studio, an ethnographic museum, or a dance hall.
    • w:Deborah Wye, in 'Introduction: Stetting the Stage', Kirchner and the Berlin street, MOMA, New York 2008, pp. 21-22

External links[edit]

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