press release

2005 marks the centenary of the constitution of the group of artists called Brücke, founded in June 1905 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, who at the time were architecture students in Dresden. Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Cuno Amiet and Otto Mueller were among the most outstanding painters who later joined this association, which broke up definitively in 1913. The eight intensive years of activity of this group witnessed the greatest development of the first period of German expressionism, which went through various stylistic phases marked precisely by the artistic objectives shared by its most important members.

In their collective exhibitions, the painters of Brücke presented themselves as a group that shared themes, experiences and formal endeavours and, therefore, one which did not prioritise the manifestation of individual temperament. The question regarding the wish to find a collective style in Brücke is difficult to elude. The exhibition Brücke. The Birth of German Expressionism, which presents a retrospective overview of the history of the group from its beginnings to its dissolution, emphasises precisely this aspect of their work. A thematic itinerary, but at the same time articulated in such a way that it respects a chronological organisation of those iconographic priorities, enables the visitor to understand how common aims were pursued and how artistic dispositions influenced each other. Obviously, their stylistic approaches manifest themselves in a wide, changing, and practically irreducible spectrum, which confirms the commitment of those painters to explore their creative potential and to rediscover their own pictorial imagery.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Fundación Caja Madrid, the organisers of the event, present at the same time in their respective venues this commemorative exhibition. The first five sections are on display in the rooms of the Fundación Caja Madrid at the Casa de las Alhajas, while the following six sections are shown in the temporary exhibitions rooms at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.


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BRÜCKE The Birth of the German Expressionism
"100 Jahre Die Brücke "

01.02.05 - 15.05.05 Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
07.06.05 - 04.09.05 Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya, Barcelona
01.10.05 - 15.01.06 Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
01.10.05 - 15.01.06 Brücke Museum, Berlin

Werke von Cuno Amiet, Fritz Bleyl, Kees van Dongen, Walter Gramatté, Erich Heckel, Otto Herbig, Max Kaus, Anton Kerschbaumer, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff