Expressionism is an art movement like none other. It is implemented in one’s art work through expressing one self. This can be seen in arts that do not portray life-like images but paintings that express one’s thoughts about a particular subject or scene. This art movement mostly originated in Germany around the early 19th century as artists were more concerned about expressing themselves through their art instead of portraying something in a realistic fashion. This style was also sometimes called “German Expressionism” because of the great influence Germany had on this art.
Artists felt a lack of self-expression and used this art style as a way of change from everyday paintings. Expressionism is a style that gives the artist freedom to portray his emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him and is later able to create such objects into art through his way of thinking. This can mean that a painting is an accurate representation of the artist’s feelings towards the subject portrayed in his art. Thus this art movement can be associated greatly with personal feelings and can be highly subjective. Paintings with this art style usually include lots of exaggerated brush strokes and intense colours. Most of said paintings can be quite distorted as they show the artist’s personal and emotional feelings towards his art.
An example of such art is the ‘Starry Night’ created in 1889 by a newly renowned artist called Vincent Van Gogh. The first time I saw this painting I felt melancholic. The colours used in this art are gloomy and portray the emotions the artist was feeling. In the same way one can enjoy how the colours seem to give structure as well as order to the painting. The flow of his brushstrokes seems unrefined, then again, it is all connected through short strokes filling the painting equally to please the eye.
Similar to this is ‘The Scream’ a painting created by Edvard Munch, in 1893. He explains this painting as his expression to the walk along a road to a mental hospital where his sister was being held. He says “I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence … shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature.” This could be what influenced him into creating this masterpiece through his expressive ways.
Die Brucke (the Bridge) another artist who originated in Dresden in 1905 was an expressionist artist whose goal was to overthrow German art of that time. Indeed such art was born out of the longing to influence the modern world. Different mediums were used to create the desired tactile properties. Thick layered painting strong bold contours were the important mediums for the expressionists.
Some renowned artists include De Laue Reiter (the Blue Rider ), Franz Marc, Emil Nolde ,Ernst Ludwig and Kathe Schmidt Kollwits.
Graphic designers nowadays are inspired by Kathe Schmidt Kollwits work whose posters which conveyed a great compassion for suffering women and children are still in use as graphic designers understand that posters are still a vital tool to transmit a message.