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Erich Heckel (1883-1970)

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Germany has a great history of Woodblock printing. Dürer was one of the arliest of great artists who used the technique but the 20th century had his own group of great aretists who used the technique. Tere were of course the rtaist of the BLAUE REITER, but there was also the group of the BRÜCker to which Heckel belonged. Heckel is arguably one of the most abstract Brücke artists, but his technique is as good as all the other together, Personally i like Heckel very much and this has resulted in a nice selection of publications available at www.ftn-books.com

Heckel and other members of Die Brücke greatly admired the work of Edvard Munch, and aimed to make a “bridge” between traditional neo-romantic German painting and modern expressionist painting. The four founding members made much use of the print as a cheap and quick medium with which to produce affordable art.

Primitive art was also an inspiration to the members of the Die Brücke. It was Heckel’s brother who introduced the group to African sculpture, and it is noted that their acceptance of primitive art, which was to fortify decisively the expressive yearnings of European artists- Was unequivocal. It is through this style that they found a source of strength in the barbaric figures.

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Edvard Munch (1863-1944)…kisses compared

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I do not know exactly what it is that draws me into the paintings by Munch. I tried to analyze their attraction for me. It is not the technique, nor the great way they are painted, but what i like about them is the use of color and the drama they radiate. Take for instance the famous Scream or Puberty. Both ooze atmosphere and “action” in a surreal colored setting.

Or compare the kiss by Much with the kiss by Klimt. The Munch kiss is a sensuous one, whereas the Klimt kiss is styled . Both done in the same decade, but for me the kiss by Munch is more authentic. Certainly the Klimt Kiss is more appealing, because the time we visited the Belvedere and saw it in reality in its special room with perfect lightning it was amazing, but the Munch kiss is a real kiss and must be admired just for that reason.

Munch is still not the household name as he should be, but that is a matter of time. Just a few decades and he will be known all over the world. Not only for a few iconic paintings , but for his complete oeuvre. Munch publications are available at www.ftn-books.com