Posts Tagged ‘ Hermann Max Pechstein

Classic Expressionism


Hermann Max Pechstein
(1881 Zwickau – 1955 Berlin)

Deutscher Maler, Grafiker des Expressionismus.

Nach Studium in Dresden tritt Pechstein 1906 der Künstlervereinigung Die Brücke bei.

Von deren Mitgliedern übernimmt er v.a. das derb-kräftige Kolorit, bleibt aber zeitlebens dem Einfluss Van Goghs treu (Das grüne Haus, 1909).

Popularität erlangt Pechstein aufgrund seiner weniger deformierten Formen und der Betonung dekorativer Elemente.

Ab 1908 in Berlin (Mitbegründer der Neuen Secession), ab 1909 Sommeraufenthalte in Nidden in der Kurischen Nehrung, wo Pechstein v.a. Akte und Landschaft malt, die vom Licht und der rauen Dünenlandschaft inspiriert sind (Am Kurischen Haff, 1909).

Eine Reise auf die Palau-Inseln 1913/14 bringt ihn in Kontakt zur Kunst der Naturvölker, die Grundlage seines weiteren Schaffens wurde (Palau-Triptychon, 1917, linker Teil im Wilhelm-Hack-Museum Ludwigshafen).

Im Spätwerk verstärkt sich die dekorative Wirkung.

1933 mit Ausstellungsverbot belegt, verbringt Pechstein die Kriegsjahre in Leba/Pommern und wird 1945 als Professor an die Hochschule für Bildende Künste Berlin-Charlottenburg berufen.


He was a German painter, commercial artist of the Expressionism.

After study in Dresden he  joins in 1906 to the artist’s union “Die Brücke”.

However, he takes over from their members above all the coarse-strong coloring, remains all the life to the influence Van Gogh’s faithful (the green house, in 1909).

Popularity attains Pechstein on account of his less deformed forms and the stress of decorative elements.

From 1908 in Berlin (joint founder of the new Secession), from 1909 summer he stays in Nidden in the Kurischen, the bay bar where Pechstein paints above all act and landscape which are inspired by the light and the rough dune landscape (in the Kurischen lagoon, in 1909).

A journey on the Palau islands in 1913/14 brings him in contact with the art of the primitive people, the basis of his(its) other creating became (Palau triptych, in 1917, left part in Wilhelm hacking a museum of Ludwigshafen).

In the late work the decorative effect increases.

In 1933 proves with exhibition prohibition, Pechstein spends the years of war in Leba/Pomorze and will appoint in 1945 as a professor to the college for Fine Arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg.



Pechstein  join the artist group “Die Brücke” , which had been founded the year before in opposition to Impressionism.

The group’s aim was to “attract all revolutionary and restless forces” (Schmidt-Rottluff) and an emphasis of the power of colour in painting.

In this environment Max Pechstein’s Expressionist style developed further, concentrating on elaborating the focal point of the painting with a sparse painting technique. Pechstein moved to Berlin in 1908 and became a co-founder of the “Neue Sezession”.

He painted figures, still lifes and landscapes in a moderately Expressionist style. Perhaps it was this, which lead to the artist’s early and continuing success.
From 1945 Max Pechstein taught at the Berlin Akademie der Künste.

Before that time, during the Third Reich, he was slandered as a “degenerate” artist. Apart from paintings his oeuvre includes more than 850 woodcuts, lithographs and engravings.


He was a prolific printmaker, producing 421 lithographs, 315 woodcuts and linocuts, and 165 intaglio prints, mostly etchings.
After studying art first at the School of Applied Arts and then at the Royal Art Academy in Dresden, Pechstein met Erich Heckel and joined the art group Die Brücke in 1906.
He was the only member to have formal art training. Later in Berlin, he helped to found the Neue Sezession and gained recognition for his decorative and colorful paintings that were lent from the ideas of Van Gogh, Matisse, and the Fauves.
His paintings eventually became more primitivist, incorporating thick black lines and angular figures.