Expressionism, artistic style in which the artist seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses




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Movement in fine arts that emphasized the expression of inner experience rather than solely realistic portrayal, seeking to depict not objective reality but the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist.

Expressionism, artistic style in which the artist seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements. In a broader sense Expressionism is one of the main currents of art in the later 19th and the 20th centuries, and its qualities of highly subjective, personal, spontaneous self-expression are typical of a wide range of modern artists and art movements. Expressionism can also be seen as a permanent tendency in Germanic and Nordic art from at least the European Middle Ages, particularly in times of social change or spiritual crisis, and in this sense it forms the converse of the rationalist and classicizing tendencies of Italy and later of France.

Artistic and literary movement born in the early years of the XXth century. Unlike Impressionism, its goals were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the surrounding world, but to strongly impose the artist's own sensibility to the world's representation. The expressionist artist substitutes to the visul object reality his own image of this object, which he feels as an accurate representation of its real meaning. The search of harmony and forms is not as important as trying to achieve the highest expression intensity, both from the aesthetic point of view and according to idea and human critics.

Expressionism assessed itself mostly in Germany, in 1910, (Mьnchen, Dresde, Berlin), as heir of a national trend related to Grьnewald: the Wallraf-Richartz museum, in Kцln, has the richest collection of this era. As an international movement, expressionism has also been thought of as inheriting from certain medieval artforms and, more directly, Cйzanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and the fauvism movement. Gustave Moreau was already saying not to believe to the reality of what he touched or saw, but instead to his own interior perception; expressionism has been holding this theory to its extreme application.

The most famed German expressionists are Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein; the Austrian Oskar Kokoschka, the Czech Alfred Kubin and the Norvegian Edvard Munch are also related to this movement. During his stay in Germany, the Russian Kandinsky was also an expressionism addict.

Painters as varied as Georges Rouault, Henry de Waroquier, Marcel Gromaire, Edouard Goerg have also been qualified of ``French expressionists''. Other members were, in Belgium, James Ensor, Permecke, Van der Bergue, Servaes were seen as disciples of Jйrфme Bosch and Bruegel, the Dutch Leo Gestel, the Danish Sцrensen, the British Lyall Watson. Among the members of the Paris school, Soutine, Pascin and Modigliani have been attached to expressionism.

1921; Forme d'art faisant consister la valeur de la reprйsentation dans l'intensitй de l'expression. L'expressionnisme s'est d'abord manifestй dans la peinture par rйaction contre l'impressionnisme. L'expressionnisme allemand, flamand. Rouault, Ensor, Munch, Kokoschka, Soutine, reprйsentants cйlиbres de l'expressionnisme.

Le terme nouveau d'expressionnisme est venu du mot «expression» pris dans son sens classique de «reprйsentation des passions». Si l'on se rйfиre а la proposition de Diderot, «on a de l'expression avant d'avoir de l'exйcution et du dessin», il ne faut pas s'йtonner que le terme «Expressionismus» ait йtй proposй par la critique allemande, il y a cinquante ans, pour qualifier en gйnйral toute peinture, mais particuliиrement celle oщ la reprйsentation des sentiments humains passe avant la rйsolution des problиmes purement plastiques... C'est un retour а une forme sentimentale de Romantisme.

-- M. Raynal, la Peinture moderne.

Par ext. L'expressionnisme au thйвtre. L'expressionnisme allemand est une rйaction contre l'observation naturaliste. Certaines thйories dramatiques de Diderot annoncent l'expressionnisme. L'expressionnisme dans la mise en scиne. --- L'expressionnisme au cinйma.

Dans les jours troublйs qui suivirent la dйfaite, l'expressionnisme envahit la rue berlinoise, les affiches, le thйвtre, la dйcoration des cafйs, les boutiques et les йtalages (...) Les films doivent devenir des dessins rendus vivants, proclamait alors Herman Warm (...) L'horreur, le fantastique et le crime dominent l'expressionnisme qu'on aurait pourtant tort de considйrer comme une transition entre le GrandGuignol et la terreur amйricaine а la Frankenstein (...) Sur le plan technique, l'expressionnisme йvolua sans perdre son principe : une vision subjective du monde (...) L'emploi expressif de la lumiиre devint la marque du cinйma allemand, expressionniste ou non.

Georges Sadoul, Histoire d'un art, le cinйma.

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