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: Catalogue: Ernest Ludwig Kirchner's Bern


Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr III



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel and Ernest Kirchner formed Die Brücke in Dresden in 1905. As the leader of "The Bridge," Kirchner was the driving force during the seven years the group lasted. "In many ways they are comparable to the 'Fauves' in Paris, an exactly contemporary movement."1Other members developed away from expressionism while Kirchner continued to create the same vein throughout his life. He was preoccupied with the humanistic approach to art, particularly man's loneliness. His delving into man's subconscious reality was furthered by the influence of Munch, Matisse and van Gogh.In 1917, Kirchner left Germany for Switzerland where he settled in an alpine house at Davos. He became a new influence in the Swiss art world which had been relatively untouched by Expressionism. At an age when most artists begin to settle and mellow, Kirchner found new vigor in the idolatry of Swiss students. The peaceful beauty and vast expanse of the high Alps, as well as the political stability of Switzerland, must also have contributed to the new brightness and precision evident in Bern. This new style, Kirchner's last period, began in 1925. Nothing of his expressive power is lost in the grandeur, gaiety and light.Endnotes
  1. Kirchner, Cambridge, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1950, p. 2.
Referenced Work of Art
  1. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German, 1880-1938. Bern, 1930. Oil on canvas, 27 3/4" x 31 3/4". Signed lower right: E L Kirchner. Accession 61.36.21.CollectionsCurt Valentin Gallery, New York; P. D. McMillan, Minneapolis, 15 July, 1955; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillan, 15 November, 1961.ExhibitedCambridge, Massachusetts, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Kirchner, 8 December, 1950-12 January, 1951.
    New York, Curt Valentin Gallery, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 16 April-10 May, 1952.
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Source: Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr III, "Catalogue: Ernest Ludwig Kirchner's Bern," <i>The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin</i> 50, no. 4 (December, 1961): 48-49.
Rights: ©MIA
Added to Site: March 10, 2009