The Basic Rundown
Expressionism is like a vivid opinion. What does that mean? Expressionist works take the natural world and distort it using unnatural color, dynamic brushstrokes, and subjective ideas about how things should be. You probably know more about expressionism than you think, as the haunting and iconic face-grabbing painting ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch falls into this category. There’s a solid chance you’ll be able to identify the subject of an expressionist painting (a horse, a couple in love, a figure walking down a path), but you’ve surely never seen them look quite like that before.
A Basic History
Expressionism is often misinterpreted in the art world. At its core, expressionism is the art of presenting the world emotionally and subjectively. Expressionists champion emotion over reality and engage in art as an exploration in self-discovery.
As a movement, expressionism was prominent in the early 20th century, with defining features gestural brush strokes, surrealist shapes, and bold colors. The Germans first pioneered the movement in the early 1900’s, with artists Ernst Ludvig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, and Emil Nolde at the forefront.
Expressionism from Today’s Artists