Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

German, 1880–1938


A leading figure in the early-20th-century German Expressionist group Die Brücke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner produced paintings, prints, and sculptures that opposed the conventions of academic art. His nudes, landscapes, and scenes of urban life on the eve of World War I are known for their unsettling effects of psychological tension and eroticism, while his powerful, crudely executed black-and-white woodcuts illustrated many books and magazines, including Germany’s leading avant-garde periodical Der Sturm. Albrecht Dürer was a lifelong influence on Kirchner, but painters such as Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh, as well as African and Polynesian art, inspired his use of bright colors, simplified forms, and malevolent, mask-like faces. His art was labeled as “degenerate” by the Nazis in the 1930s, and he would commit suicide in 1937.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
High auction record
$38m, Christie's, 2006
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Reviewed by a major art publication
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Articles Featuring Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Unpacking Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Practice through 3 Revelatory Paintings
Oct 15th, 2019
The German Expressionists’ Shockingly Raw Work Exploded Bourgeois Values and Reinvented Art
Aug 31st, 2018
5 German Artists You Should Know, on View in Galerie Thomas’s Art Basel Booth
Jun 11th, 2014
Happy Birthday, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
May 6th, 2013
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