Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

(Aschaffenburg 1880 - 1938 Frauenkirch bei Davos)
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born on 6 May 1880 in Aschaffenburg. As a founding member of the artists' group "Brücke", the German painter and graphic artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is one of the most important representatives of German Expressionism. His main Expressionist work deals with the hectic pace of life in the big city, to which he lends expression through highly simplified forms and his individual use of colour.
Kirchner begins to draw at the early age of three years. His family moves several times: Frankfurt am Main, Perlen near Lucerne, Chemnitz. At the age of twenty, Kirchner's first comprehensive sketchbook was created, which was to be followed by around one hundred and eighty others over time. In 1901 Kirchner began studying architecture at the Technical University of Dresden, which he successfully completed in 1905. In Dresden Kirchner made the acquaintance of Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, with whom he founded the artists' group "Brücke" on June 7, 1905. In the same year he worked on the "Viertelstundenakten". One year later Pechstein and Nolde also joined the "Brücke" painters. In the summer of 1908, Kircher travels to Fehmarn for the first time to draw and paint on the German coast, thus escaping the narrowness of Dresden. In October 1911 Kirchner left Dresden to improve his professional opportunities in Berlin. In 1912 he meets Erna Schilling, who stays with him as his partner. In 1915, when he was called up for military service, he collapsed physically and mentally after a short time. After several stays in a sanatorium, he travels to Davos in Switzerland in 1917 to seek recovery. He stays in Switzerland and settles in the house "In den Lärchen" near Davos in Frauenkirch. In 1926 he travels to Germany again for the first time to visit his mother in Chemnitz and Fränzi Fehrmann in Dresden. In 1937, a few years after the National Socialists seized power, over 600 of his works were branded "degenerate" and removed from German museums. Not least for this reason, Kirchner chose to commit suicide on 15 June 1938 at the age of fifty-eight. With his drawings and paintings, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner counts among the most important representatives of German Expressionism, whose works are regularly presented in national and international exhibitions. It was not until 2019 that the Neue Galerie New York showed a major solo exhibition of the artist's work, which focused on Kirchner's groundbreaking significance for the development of German Expressionism. Works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner can now be found in numerous museums and renowned collections worldwide, including the MoMa in New York and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

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Works

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Reclining Female Nude, um 1915
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Bathers at the Sea with Steamer, um 1914
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Sitting Woman at the Pedicure, um 1914
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Street Scene, 1924-1926
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Stretching Nude, 1918-1919
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Seated dancer with Timbrel, 1915
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Fehmarn Landscape with Trees, 1914
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Nudes on the Beach of Fehmarn, 1914

Exhibitions

25 Years of W&K
08. June - 03. August 2018