• MoMA, Floor 5, 504 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

In the years before World War I, artists in Germany and Austria developed a provocative new approach based on high-pitched color and jarring distortions of form. Their focus on the human figure was in part a reaction to the rapid transformations affecting society—industrialization and urbanization, as well as changing attitudes toward sexuality.

Expressionism, as such work came to be known, emerged in several distinct artistic centers. These included Vienna, where Egon Schiele forged a brand of searingly psychological portraiture; Munich, where Vasily Kandinsky and others associated with Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) emphasized the spiritual values they found in nature and folk culture; and Dresden, where Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and others in the Brücke (Bridge) group created scenes of their daily life that were, as Kirchner recalled, “strange to the normal person . . . [and] driven by a totally naive, pure need to bring art and life into harmony with each other.” A desire for intensely personal expression and emotional authenticity unified the impulses of these artists.

17 works online

Artists

Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].