Expressionism is known as an European cultural movement of the 1910-1930 decades, which also covers Literature, Music, Theater and Architecture.
The first Expressionist Art Style was born in France with the Fauves (‘wild beasts, savages’) so called for the expressive violence of color. A second group was formed in Germany: Die Brücke (‘The Bridge’), characterized by a strong dramatic.
In art, Expressionism is an evolution of Impressionism. Impressionism represents the beauty and joy, while the Expressionism is dramatic and it is the human soul inwardness with the exasperation of shapes and colors.
This is one of the movements in architecture in the 20th century, mainly in Europe, where at that time people fought in the World War I, including the architects at that time. The political and social problems also influence the architect, such places like Germany, Austria, and Denmark.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressionist_architecture
Expressionist Style Characteristics
The representation of the forms and shapes are from the emotional feeling that the architects feel, a more bold way of showing what they feel, a more frontal way by showing forms in their buildings.
- Conception of architecture as a work of art.
- Distortion of form for an emotional effect.
- Subordination of realismto symbolic or stylistic expression of inner experience.
- An underlying effort at achieving the new, original, and visionary.
- Themes of natural romantic phenomena, such as caves, mountains, lightning, crystal and rock formations.As such it is more mineral and elemental than florid and organic which characterized its close contemporary art nouveau.
- Uses creative potential of artisancraftsmanship.
Novel materials with a poetic expression , formal innovation, and very unusual massing, sometimes inspired by natural biomorphic forms, sometimes by the new technical possibilities offered by the mass production of brick, steel and especially glass. Often, the intention was to unify the materials in a building so as to make it monolithic.
- Hans Poelzing (1869-1936) German architect, painter and set designer. He tried in his works a solution to the problems of modularity, space possibilities related to new materials, the relationship-utility beauty of industrial buildings. He designed Großes Schauspielhaus, the Great Theater in Berlin.
Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro%C3%9Fes_Schauspielhaus
Poelzig adapted the existing building to form a huge theatre space with the overall effect of a guilded cavern, with stalactite-like structures descending from a central dome.
- Erich Mendelson (1887-1953) german architect, designer of Einstein Tower in Potsdam.
It is an astrophysical observatory in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam. The building was first conceived around 1917, built from 1919 to 1921 after a fund-raising drive, and became operational in 1924. Designed as an amorphic structure of reinforced concrete, Mendelsohn wanted the tower to represent as well as facilitate the study of Einstein’s radical theory of relativity – a groundbreaking theorem of motion, light and space.
The images express uneasiness and complaint against the urban life and represent the views of the city, people on the street, scenes in the study, farmers in the fields, bathers, alpine landscapes, still lifes.
Expressionism is the art of distortion, deformation, exaltation, exacerbation, and intensive expression. The artist accomplishes this aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements
Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/Expressionism
Most Important Expressionist Artists:
- Matisse (1869-1954), French painter and sculptor, he was one of representatives of Fauvism, author of paintings ‘The Dance’, ‘Woman with hat’, ‘The Red Room’
- Kirchner (1880-1938) german painter and printmaker, one of the founders of the group ‘Die Brucke’.
- E.Munch (1863-1944) Norwegian painter and printmaker. He’s known as the author ‘The scream’.
- Oskar Kokoschka (1886 -1980) austrian painter.
- Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Austrian painter and his self-portraits are noted for its intensity.
- Emil Nolde (1867-1956) German Danish painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke.
- Franz Marc (1880-1916) German painter and printmaker, he was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter, a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.
- Marc Chagall(1887-1915) Russian-french artist.
Expressionist directors are concerned more with an unabashedly subjective experience of reality, not how others might see it. Psychological or spiritual truths they feel can best be conveyed by distorting the surface of the material world. Expressionists reject tradition and turn away from realistic representations of nature and accepted concepts of beauty.
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) directed by Fritz Lang. The themes include somnambulism, diabolical power, madness, and mass murder.
- Nosferatu (1922) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. it is inspired the novel Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker.
- Metropolis (1926) directed by Fritz Lang, set in dystopian future.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(1927_film)