German Expressionism

Der Blaue Reiter and its legacies

Edited by Dorothy Price

German Expressionism


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2162-2
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: ART / European, HISTORY / Europe / Germany, ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945), Germany, Humanities / European history, Art & Design Styles: Expressionism, Art History, History of art


This book presents new research on the histories and legacies of the German Expressionist group Blaue Reiter, the founding force behind modernist abstraction. For the first time Blaue Reiter is subjected to a variety of novel inter-disciplinary perspectives, ranging from a philosophical enquiry into its language and visual perception to analyses of its gender dynamics, its reception at different historical junctures throughout the twentieth century and its legacies for post-colonial aesthetic practices. The volume offers a new perspective on familiar aspects of Expressionism and abstraction, taking seriously the inheritance of modernism for the twenty-first century in ways that will help to recalibrate the field of Expressionist studies for future scholarship. Blaue Reiter still matters, the contributors argue, because the legacies of abstraction are still being debated by artists, writers, philosophers and cultural theorists today.


'This book is not intended as an introduction to the art and ideas of Der Blaue Reiter, nor does it offer a comprehensive history of the group. Instead, these essays provide new, exciting readings of a series of topics that are loosely linked yet independent of each other. Although it took nine years for them to appear in print, they have lost nothing in the delay, and for those interested in an in-depth analysis of Der Blaue Reiter and its legacies, the book is well worth the wait.'
Burlington Magazine

'German expressionism is enjoying a resurgence of interest. Most of the recent scholarship on the art of German expressionism focuses on the artists of Die Brücke (The Bridge), a group founded in 1905 by four Dresden architects, which lasted about a decade. In the popular imagination, the angular, painterly, figurative style of Die Brücke artists, who were interested in combining the modern and the primitive, represents the essential qualities of expressionism. Until now, the artist groups that arose in Munich during the decade before WW I have received little attention. Among those groups was Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), usually considered another development of pre-WW I German expressionism. In contrast to the Die Brücke artists, the artists of Der Blaue Reiter were less cohesive in style and intent. Scholars of German expressionism have always taken pains to argue that Der Blaue Reiter really belonged to the earlier movement. Three of the eight essays in this collection try to establish Der Blaue Reiter as an equal contributor, with a standing of its own, to the expressionist movement. The other five essays explore tangential aspects of individual artists' careers and specific cases of early critical appreciation.'
--W. S. Bradley, emeritus, Colorado State University
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


List of figures
List of contributors
Introduction: why does der Blaue Reiter still matter? - Dorothy Price and Christopher Short
1 Is der Blaue Reiter relevant for the twenty-first century? A discussion of anarchism, art and politics - Rose-Carol Washton Long
2 The dynamics of gendered artistic identity and creativity in der Blaue Reiter - Shulamith Behr
3 The 'primitive' and the modern in Der Blaue Reiter almanac and the Folkwang Museum - Katherine Kuenzli
4 The 'savages' of Germany: a reassessment of the relationship between der Blaue Reiter and Brücke - Christian Weikop
5 Kleinkunst and Gesamtkunstwerk in Munich and Zurich: Der Blaue Reiter and Dada - Debbie Lewer
6 Type/face: Wassily Kandinsky and Walter Benjamin on language and perception - Annie Bourneuf
7 Feeling blue: Der Blaue Reiter, Francophilia and the Tate Gallery 1960 - Nathan J. Timpano
8 Die Tunisreise: the legacy of Der Blaue Reiter in the art of Paul Klee and Nacer Khemir - Sarah McGavran


Dorothy Price is Professor of History of Art at the University of Bristol

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