The Easel

Archives: William Cook

14th May 2024

The brighter side of German Expressionism

Gloomy is the right description for German expressionists like Beckmann and Grosz. Not so the Blue Rider group. That small collective, active between 1911 and 1914, explored the ability of colour to evoke emotion. With just two shows and a single magazine, their bold compositions prepared the way for abstraction. Among this talented group Kandinsky and Marc were acknowledged standouts. But WW1 arrived, the group scattered and some died fighting. After 1918, those gloomy expressionists took over.