With their avant-garde style and rejection of artistic traditions, a new generation of rebel-artists known as the Expressionists came to prominence during the early 20th century. This time of empires and colonies, air raids and allied forces, nationalism and revolution was particularly tumultuous in Germany and neighboring Austria—countries closely connected during the First World War (1914–18) and the rise of the Nazi Party (1920–45).
Labeled as “degenerates,” many of the Expressionists were drafted or otherwise affected by war. To express their personal reactions to the atrocities they experienced, they turned to boldly simplified line work, distorted forms, or clashing colors. Above all, they heralded printmaking—a quick, inexpensive medium rife with creative potential—as the premier form of artistic rebellion.
From lithographic posters to book illustration, this exhibition encapsulates the violence and defiance of European modernism through works on paper from the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection as well as works from Dr. Alessandra Comini’s generous gift to the Museum in 2018 and 2019.
Admission is FREE.
Images: Käthe Kollwitz, Memorial Sheet of Karl Liebknecht, 1919–20, woodcut heightened with white and black ink on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. A. E. Zonne, 1942.109; Max Klinger, Cupid, Death and the Beyond, from the portfolio Intermezzos, Opus IV, plate XII, printed 1881, etching and aquatint with chine collé on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in honor of Adriana Comini, 2019.48.17; Max Pechstein, Somme 6, from the portfolio Somme 1916, printed 1918, etching on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Henry H. Hawley III, 1958.31; Ludwig Meidner, Untitled (two figures), from the book September Scream: Hymns, Prayers, Blasphemies, plate 51, published 1920, lithograph on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in honor of Peter Balis, 2019.48.28; Ernst Barlach, Desperate Dance, from the play The Poor Cousin, published 1919, lithograph on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg, 1961.21