The Expressionists by Wolf-Dieter Dube (1972)

Books & Boots

In Expressionism] the expression was to determine the form, and no longer be obliged to appear in the guise of nymphs, heroes and allegories… [Expressionism is] the process whereby the colours and forms themselves become the respositories of the pictorial idea. (p.7)

1972 is a long time ago, before the politically correct mindset, before feminism, anti-racism and post-colonialist discourse took over university humanities departments. Therefore this book is a remarkably straightforward account of the various groups of German artists who are generally lumped together as ‘the Expressionists’, with none of the usual naming and shaming of artists as sexist, racist, imperialist cultural appropriators, which is so common in art history nowadays (for example, in Colin Rhodes’s book on Primitivism, which I’ve just read, or Whitney Chadwick’s Women, Art and Society).

The German character

Wolf-Dieter Dube was a senior curator at the Bavarian State Art Collection (home to an extensive collection…

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