Erich Heckel was a German painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...
and printmaker, and a founding member of the Die Brücke
Die Brücke was a group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905, after which the Brücke Museum in Berlin was named. Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller...
group ("The Bridge") which existed 1905-1913.
BiographyHeckel was born in Döbeln
Döbeln is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, part of the Mittelsachsen district, located at both banks of the river Freiberger Mulde.-History:It was founded in the 10th century, the first written proof of its existence dates back to the year 981....
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....
). His parents were born in Saxony. He and other members of the group Die Brücke greatly admired the work of Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :Edvard Munch...
, and aimed to make a "bridge" between traditional neo-romantic
The term neo-romanticism is used to cover a variety of movements in music, painting and architecture. It has been used with reference to very late 19th century and early 20th century composers such as Gustav Mahler particularly by Carl Dahlhaus who uses it as synonymous with late Romanticism...
German painting and modern expressionist
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...
painting. The four founding members made much use of the print as a cheap and quick medium with which to produce affordable art. Most of his life he spent on printmaking.
In 1937 the Nazi Party declared his work "degenerate
Degenerate art is the English translation of the German entartete Kunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were...
"; it forbade him to show his work in public, and over 700 items of his art were confiscated from the nation's museums. By 1944 all of his woodcut blocks and print plates had been destroyed.
After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
Heckel lived at Hemmenhofen near Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee , the Untersee , and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...
, teaching at the Karlsruhe Academy until 1955. He continued painting until his death at Radolfzell
Radolfzell am Bodensee is a town in Germany at the western end of Lake Constance approximately 18 km northwest of Konstanz. It is the third largest town, after Constance and Singen, in the district of Konstanz, in Baden-Württemberg....
Like most members of Die Brücke, he was a prolific printmaker, with 465 woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...
s, 375 etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...
s, and 400 lithographs described in the Dube catalogues raisonné
The typical catalogue raisonné is a monograph giving a comprehensive catalogue of artworks by an artist.The essential elements of a catalogue raisonné are that it purports to be an exhaustive list of works for a defined subject matter describing the works in a way so that they may be reliably...
, over 200 of which, mostly etchings, date to the last seven years of his life.
A major retrospective exhibition, Erich Heckel – His Work in the 1920s, was held October 2004 – February 2005 at the Brücke Museum
The Brücke Museum in Berlin houses the world's largest collection of works by Die Brücke , an early 20th century expressionist movement.-Origins:...
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...
CriticismThe critic James Auer has said that his Franzi Standing ...
...in many ways encapsulates the principal virtues of the entire Expressionist movement. At once frank and respectful, daring and compassionate, it depicts a girl-woman on the cusp of adolescence, innocent and free yet, at the same time, curious and knowing.
- Heckel - Fränzi reclining
- Erich Heckel's 1920s work at the Brücke
- works of the artist at "Museumsportal Schleswig-Holstein"
- Available Works & Biography Galerie Ludorff, Düsseldorf, Germany