Aesthetic Foundations, Objectives of Art, Poetics - 20th Century Art Culture

Aesthetic background

The aesthetics of expressionism opposes the idea of ​​art as mimesis and argues that art should not seek to reproduce, copy, imitate reality. "Imitation - to works of art or nature - can not be art," says Gerhard Valden in the preface to the catalog of the Autumn Salon in Berlin (1913). And further: "The artist writes only what is revealed to his deeply personal inner experience, which is an expression of his soul; all that is transitory for him is only a symbolic image; the stake in this game is life; That which captures the external world in him, he gives an expression that comes from within. He bears his visions, his secret images, and they lead him along. " Every artwork should be a projection of the deepest artist. Aesthetics of expressionism is opposition to impressionism and naturalism, for which the main thing is not the disclosure of the artist's inner world, but the reproduction of reality.

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe during his work in the spirit of expressionism, the main aesthetic values ​​considered the position of the Catholic philosophy of Thomism.

An important feature of the aesthetics of expressionism is antipositivism. This philosophical orientation directed artists to interest in the writings of mystic philosophers and to master the experience of primitivism.

Subjectivity is the basis of the aesthetic views of expressionists.

Expressionism deforms the immediate life experience, distorts the usual subject forms. This is a mistrust of reality: the connection between the phenomenon and the essence is put into question, the essence is not, but only gives out its inside under "torture" deformation. Disunity becomes the leading aesthetic category of the aesthetics of expressionism.

Kirchner put forward the aesthetic positions, which were realized in the work of the artists of the association "Bridge". These provisions argue that reality must be artistically mastered in a religious-symbolic way. The artist does not have to be a mirror of his era, his vocation - through an anecdotal story to reveal the universal human truth. Kirchner and his associates are interested in the spirit, not in the form.

German writer, one of the leaders of expressionism, Kazimir Edshmid argues (1918) that the true reality lies in the artist himself: "The reality must be created by us. The meaning of the subject should be sought out of sight. We do not have the right to be content with believing facts, presenting facts, registering facts - we need to give a clean, undistorted reflection of the picture of the world. And it is only in ourselves.

Author of the novel "Bebukin Karl Einstein in the magazine "Aktsion (1912) writes that art must be free from what reality imposes (anecdotism, psychology, logic), and carry out a reconstruction of reality on the basis of creative impulse and fantasy.

Art Objectives

Walter Gropius wrote (1919): "The ultimate goal of art is the creative concept of the cathedral of the future, which will unite in a single image architecture, sculpture and painting." For expressionists, the immediate and immediate goal of art is to provoke an emotional shock in the public.


Expressionism simplified the form, introduced new rhythms, gravitated toward intense color. For the embodiment of his artistic concepts expressionism uses a number of forms and techniques: a paradoxical combination of grotesque and sharp rhythms, updating and rethinking the vocabulary.

Expressionism deviated from ordinary experience: in the dream pictures of Chagall's memories, subjects of experience are divided into elements that are combined. From the point of view of the empirical experience of man it is impossible that the bride and groom flew over the roofs and the groom raised his glass, sitting on the shoulders of the bride. However, the artist sought to depict not so much reality, as the processes of its realization.

Expressionism makes a turn from external contemplation to inner, mental processes and makes the latter more accessible to visual arts.

Expressionists seek an organic union with nature. The aggravation of feelings is combined in their work with some rudeness, which in their understanding brings artists back to the primitive integrity of man.

Expressionism seeks to create a form in the name of expressive symbols and to sharpen the language, loading it with a poetic meaning.

English art critic Zh.A. Cuddon notes the principles of the poetics of expressionism: the artist himself determines the form, image, punctuation, syntax. Any rules and elements of writing can be deformed in the name of the goal.

thematic pictures

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