Ernst Barlach

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The young Ernst Barlach

Ernst Barlach (2 January 1870, Wedel – 24 October 1938, Rostock) was a German expressionist sculptor, printmaker and writer.


  • As the misfortune befell in November [1918], I threw myself into the woodcut.. .It is a technique that provokes one to confession, to the unmistakable statement of what one finally means. It, or far more she, enforces a certain general validity of expression.. .I have finished a number of large woodcuts that deal with all of the distress of the times.
    • Barlach in a letter to his cousin, 1919; in Erhard Gopel, Deutsche Holzschnitte des zwanzigsten Jahr- hunderts, Wiesbaden: Insel Verlag, 1955, p. 44; as quoted in 'The Revival of Printmaking in Germany', I. K. Rigby; in German Expressionist Prints and Drawings - Essays Vol 1.; published by Museum Associates, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California & Prestel-Verlag, Germany, 1986, p. 46
    • Barlach explained why the woodcut spoke so poignantly to the current times

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