Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Bits and Pieces of Kirchner

A self portrait of 1928.

Kirchner and Erna Schilling are lying on the bed, he is smiling. His students and models are in the foreground. This is a picture in his studio in 1915.

Here is a snippet I found on the web:

Theory of how one’s body mimics the art one loves. The heroically abstract body. The Kirchner body.

Theory of how one's body mimics the art one loves..... It's soft in places I wish it weren't, it doesn't get the attention it deserves, it is everything I have and yet I don't take care of it the way I should.

Another snippet from the web:
Expressionism remains the most influential twentieth century art because of its emphasis on self-expression in a society in which the self is at risk, as the Brücke artists recognized.

The self is at risk. When is the self not at risk?

From that same blog:
Cubism has become obsolete, but Expressionism has survived, constantly re-inventing itself, as shown by the American Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s, and the Berlin New Fauves ("Neue Wilden") and more broadly the New German Expressionism that emerged in the 1980s. This suggests that the self remains under siege in the modern world -- that emotional freedom, or what the historian Meyer Shapiro called "inner freedom," remains rare -- and that art must serve it with every means at its disposal. This gives art a sense of inner purpose -- what Kandinsky referred to as "inner necessity" -- which it loses once it has become totally pure. Purity dead-ends in sterility, as is clear from the Post-Painterly Abstraction -- really Post-Expressionistic Abstraction -- that Greenberg advocated in the 1960s, as the next "real" avant-garde step.

So what the writer is saying is, when the self accomplishes freedom in art this is pure, but as soon as it has occured it becomes lost, it can only be mimicked, it needs to be reinvented. Over and over. And Clement Greenberg, with his claim that cubism was a higher and more masterful attempt at pure art, was wrong, because this is a pattern and a set style and expressionism is not.

Kirchner was an addict and a depressive and an expressionist and a man whose sexuality boomed inside him, like a lot of men. The difference between De Brucke and Bleue Reiter is lack of female nudes in the latter. And Kirchner drank and his health failed him, of course, and the Nazi's infuriated him and he died by shooting himself twice at his home in Switzerland. This was after he burned much of his own work, and while his wife was home.

Artists, they never cease to amaze me.

1 comment:

Amy and LaValle said...

Kirchner evidently kept putting off marriage. It wasn't until 1938 that he and Erna took out a marriage license. It only took twenty-five years and then he called it off a few days before his suicide.