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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Painter, commercial artist, sculptor, photographer, design draughtsman and draughtsman

Born
1880 in Aschaffenburg
Died
1938 in Davos Frauenkirch
School
expressionism

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Biography

The artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschaffenburg in 1880. He spent much of his childhood in Frankfurt am Main, Lucerne and Chemnitz. When he graduated from secondary school in 1901 he was awarded a prize from the Chemnitz Art Society as the best art student. He then began studying architecture in Dresden and later in Munich. There he studied the works of the Impressionists. With fellow students in Dresden he founded the Expressionist artists’ association the Brücke in 1905, which moved to Berlin in 1911. Important interests in addition to French art of the late nineteenth century were such new subjects as street bars and amusement halls. In 1912 he participated in the international Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. After a quarrel between its members, the Brücke dissolved in 1913. From 1915 to 1916 Kirchner performed voluntary military service, which led to a nervous breakdown. Again and again he battled with depression, which left traces in his art. In 1917 Kirchner moved to Davos, Switzerland, but frequently stayed in Germany. In 1937 his works were shown in solo exhibitions in Bern and Detroit. The National Socialists condemned his art as “degenerate”. In 1938 Kirchner took his own life in Frauenkirch, near Davos.

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