|Head of Dr. Bauer, Kirchner|
I was specifically hoping to find woodcuts by members of Die Brücke, and I was not disappointed. All my favorites were represented: Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, Otto Mueller, and of course the unmatched Ernst Kirchner. It was the first time I've had a chance to see more than a mere reproduction in an art history book of Kirchner's Five Women In the Street.
I was struck by the large size of many of the portraits, figures, and some landscapes hanging on the walls. All of Kirchner's portraits were larger than life-sized. This, combined by the crude and expressive style, made me feel not only captivated, but shrunk and quieted by their charismatic presence. Kirchner's vividly-colored woodcut Head of Dr. Bauer - with its beady, blue eyes - was particularly monstrous.
|Five Women In the Street, Kirchner|
It is interesting in that the exhibition includes these heavy hitters alongside other, lesser-known artists who were not part of that movement, but who were working at the same time and speaking the same language. At first I felt a little confused by the array of works, but after a while it seemed to make sense in that it took Die Brücke out of its own narrow focus and put it in the appropriate larger cultural context.