About Erich Heckel
Painter and printmaker Erich Heckel is considered one of Germany’s most important artists; he was instrumental in launching Die Brücke (The Bridge) movement while studying architecture at the University of Dresden in 1905. His early work shifted in tone as he moved from painting in nature to reacting to the psychological isolation of modern urban life in Berlin. Heckel designed starkly graphic prints of figures—often depicted in states of psychological distress—within simplified compositions, and he was influenced by the literature and philosophy of Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. He continued to work through military service in World War II, and later became active in socialist artists’ organizations, including Novembergruppe and the Arbeitsrat für Kunst. During the Second World War, the Nazis labeled Heckel a “degenerate” artist—his studio was destroyed and 729 works were confiscated from public collections.
German, 1883-1970, Döbeln, Germany