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GERMAN EXPRESSIONISTS EXHIBITION (article first published : 1999-05-11)

In 1939 about 1000 paintings and 4000 other works of art were burnt in a massive bonfire at Berlin’s main station. The aim was to destroy what the National Socialist regime under Adolf Hitler judged `decadent’ and `degenerate’. German Expressionist artists were much affected by the rise in German militarism in the years before the first World War. Believing in art for the people, they worked mainly in prints so that their work could be enjoyed by the masses and in this way, expressed their despair at corruption, the futility of war and the loss of innocent life.

An exhibition of works by 16 German artists who worked during the years 1911 to 1933 can be seen at the Durban Art Gallery’s Circular Gallery from June 9 to the end of July. Titled the Grafik des Deutschen Expressionismus , it will be on loan from the Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen e V in Stuttgart and arranged by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cape Town. Among the artists represented are Kirchner, Klee, Kandinsky, Kokoschka, Marc and Dix. There will be 121 works on display, some as small as 19x20cm.


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