The painting style of Max Beckmann embraced many diverse movements of twentieth-century art - German Impressionism, Gothic formalism, modern Classicism, Expressionism, New Objectivity - for none, singly, was sufficient enough to accommodate the breadth of his genius. Beckmann transcended his time and culture as few of his contemporaries have. The sum of this open-mindedness is a union of seemingly contradictory virtues; Beckmann is at once direct and allusive, passionate and objective, emotionally simple and formally complex. His paintings contain some of the darkest visual statements about contemporary man (The Night) as well as some of the most life-affirming (Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery and the monumental triptych Departure). And even when Beckmann is brutal, the human spirit triumphs by means of the artist's powerful sense of order and control.
The recurrent Beckmann symbols (stringed instruments, phallic fish, organ-grinders, portentous bellhops) and the quality of tamed violence that radiates from his canvases are perhaps traceable to the artist's personal odyssey. During the years of the Weimar Republic, he experienced the warmth and acceptance and established success, but the Nazi era - and the fear and bitterness induced by his countrymen's atrocities - outraged his sense of humanity. Beckmann eventually came out of hiding in Holland, where he had been driven by Hitler's hatred of "degenerate" art, and enjoyed peace of mind and critical acclaim in the United States. He lived there until his death in 1950.
Dr Stephan Lackner, the author and long-time friend of the artist, discusses in detail every major canvas and graphic work, and brilliantly analyses Beckmann's style. Abundant illustrations, many in full colour, accompany the story of the artist's life and the apocalyptic atmosphere of the times. A biographical outline, selected bibliography, and index round out the volume. 138 illustrations, including 48 hand-tipped plates in full colour.
Internally clean and bright. Beautiful images throughout. Slight tanning to page edges. Wear/tanning to dust jacket.