Expressionism & The Roaring Twenties

Edvard Munch – The Scream

As a modernist movement, Expressionism originated in Germany during the 1920s art period. Initially as a style in both poetry and painting, it emphasized the presentation of the world, both external and internal, solely through a subjective perspective. This emotionally charged period meant a boost for the artistic cinema, marked by the 1920. film masterpiece by Robert Wiene, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. Radically distorting its images for the emotional effect, passions and moods were more important than the physical reality. Partly as a response to the growing social anxiety and the idea of the loss of spirituality, and partly as a reaction to Impressionist art, Expressionism was mostly inspired by the Symbolism movement of the late 19th-century, but also by modern currents and progress of the era. Some of its most famous painters include Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky, Erich Heckel and Franz Marc. These artists introduced the new standards for art which later gave birth to Abstract Expressionism and the Neo-Expressionism art movement.