Modern and contemporary art in Germany

The late 19th century heralded the start of a break from the conventions of academic art. After the First World War in particular, artists strove to find new ways of expressing themselves. This gave rise to a variety of movements, with art groups playing a particularly significant role on the German art scene. Germany is home to a diverse landscape of museums offering excellent opportunities to experience the work of modern and contemporary artists.

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART IN GERMANY

Die Brücke (“The Bridge”)

The art group “Die Brücke” was founded in Dresden in 1905 and counted Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and later Emil Nolde among its most notable members. The group is regarded as a pioneer of Expressionism, its name indicating a new beginning, the arrival of art on a new shore and the bypassing of old conventions with the aid of a change in form and the use of colours both intense and rich in contrast. Disbanded in 1913, the group was primarily active in Dresden and the surrounding region (Moritzburg) but also exhibited in Munich. The Albertinum in Dresden and the Berlin Brücke Museum both house important collections of works by the group’s artists. You have the possibility to visit the castles in saxony while a castle trip.

Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”)

Munich, 1912: Rather than leading to the formation of an art group in the classical sense, the publication of an exhibition catalogue featuring works by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky heralded the arrival of an important new style. Both artists aimed to use elements of Expressionism to place the huge variety of newly emerging artistic movements into an editorial context. In Munich in particular, it was also Paul Klee and Alfred Kubin whose exhibitions took art in this revolutionary new direction. In Murnau Kandinsky and his wife hosted members of the artistic avant garde at Münter House. The house is now home to a collection of works by members of Der Blaue Reiter. Visitors to Kochel can look forward to an exhibition comparing the work of Franz Marc with that of Die Brücke. Another important collection is on display at Lenbach House in Munich.

Otto Dix

albertinum web cbildpixel pixelio.deRegarded as one of the leading representatives of modern art, Otto Dix initially moved in Expressionist circles before blending realism and New Realism to find his own style. He was a veteran and witness to the horrors of the First World War and its aftermath, which became a central theme of his work. His triptych “The War” is a particularly dramatic portrayal of his experiences, and hangs in the Albertinum in Dresden. While your group trip to Dresden you can visit the Albertinum.

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Albertinum in Dresden © bildpixel,pixelio.de