Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Max Beckmann – Drypoints
Max Beckmann – Drypoints
Max Beckmann is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. He was not only a painter, but also an outstanding graphic artist. In the decisive phase of his artistic development, printmaking was in fact the main medium he worked in - between 1914 and 1924, Max Beckmann created a total of 156 drypoints, 72 lithographs and 16 woodcuts. It was not until 1924 that he began to concentrate on painting.
As for many other German artists of the time, such as Dix and Grosz, for Beckmann prints were easier to sell in view of the economic chaos of those years and were also particularly suited to the artist’s social portraits and themes. The bold, increasingly angular lines and curvatures that Beckmann engraved into the plate with a needle also increasingly corresponded to the dissension of the period between the world wars and the frenetic activity and psychological tension of modern life. In his Artistic Confession published in 1918, Beckmann wrote: “the more fiercely my despair about life burns within me, the more determined I become…to grab the disgusting, throbbing monster that is existence and to suppress it, to imprison it, to throttle it in sharp cutting lines and shapes”.
Kunsthandel Jörg Maaß’s presentation “Max Beckmann – Drypoints” shows a selected group of ten high-quality drypoints by the artist that exemplify the most important subjects of his graphic work: War years, portraits and self-portraits, the circus, landscapes and, last but not least, the great “World Theater”.
Max Beckmann, Stadtansicht mit Eisernem Steg, Drypoint, 1923 (Detail)
Max Beckmann, Selbstbildnis von vorn, im Hintergrund Hausgiebel, Drypoint, 1918 (Detail)
Max Beckmann, Der Zeichner in Gesellschaft, Drypoint, 1922 (Detail)
Max Beckmann, Strand, Drypoint, 1922 (Detail)
Max Beckmann was born in 1884 in Leipzig. In 1900 he began the study of painting in Weimar’s art academy, from which he graduated with numerous honours. In 1907, after sojourns in Paris, Geneva and Florence, he finally settled in Berlin, where he joined the Secession. In the First World War Beckmann was a volunteer medical aide. His experiences were to have a lasting effect on his work, and led him to adopt an Expressionist style close to that of the „Neue Sachlichkeit“ (New Objectivity). From 1915 to 1933 he stayed in Frankfurt am Main and taught classes at the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1937 he emigrated to Holland, and then in 1948 to the United States. He taught in New York at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and in 1950 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Washington University in St Louis. He died in New York in 1950.