German Expressionism

German Expressionism, with works by Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Wilhelm Lehmbruck and August Macke, marks the chronological and conceptual starting point: the tension between the subject and the world, perceived as a crisis, and the feeling of the individual's fundamental forsakenness led to an intensified feeling of self amongst the Expressionist artists at around 1900 and to an increased need to express themselves. This went hand in hand with the search for a new originality. It was in radiant colourfulness and rough, peaked shapes dashed off like sketches that the young Expressionists found the artistic means which were to revolutionize painting and which showed the artist to be a prophetic innovator rather than the guardian of tradition he had been hitherto.