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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / German Expressionism / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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German Expressionist Woodcuts: Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884-1976)

Survey I / Survey II / Survey III

"Käthe Kollwitz and German Expressionism" featured over fifty works by Käthe Kollwitz plus additional works by Josef Albers,
Ernst Barlach, Rudolf Bauer, Max Beckmann, Peter Behrens, Heinrich Campendonck, Marc Chagall, Lovis Corinth, Otto Dix,
Lyonel Feininger, Conrad Felixmuller, Hans Fronius, Alfons Graber, Otto Greiner, Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel, Hannah Hoch,
Karl Hofer, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ludwig Meidner, Edvard Munch,
Gabrielle Munter, Heinrich Nauen, Emile Nolde, Max Pechstein, Hilla von Rebay, Georges Rouault, Rudolf Schlichter,
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Siegfried Schott, Georg Tappert, Wilhelm Wagner, and others.

German Expressionist Drawings

The Russians: Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Goncharova, Larionov, and Malevich
One of the founders of Die Brücke. (the Bridge) in 1905 along with Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirschner, Schmidt-Rottluff was intensely interested in printmaking. The only professionally trained artist in the original group, he quickly emerged as one of its leaders, published a runnung commentary on the activities of the group and playing a large role in organizing their exhibits. The artists of the group frequently circulated exhibitions of prints in woodcut, etching, and lithograph; their hope was to strike a prophetic chord and awaken their compatriots to a new, free, passionate age. Joined by Max Pechstein, Otto Müller, and Emil Nolde, the artists of the group exhibited their works in over twenty shows. Their work, all of which was to be condemned by the Nazis as "Degenerate," is intense, angular, and nervous.

Selected Bibliography: Xavier Girard, et al, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (Nice: Musée Matisse, 1995); Will Grohmann, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (Stuttgart, 1958), Ernst Hauswedell, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Holzschnitte, Lithographien, Radierungen der Jahre 1906-1954 (Hamburg, 1969), Magdalena Moeller, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (Munich, Hirmer Verlag, 1997. A retrospective catalogue for a traveling show, this volume gathers over 300 works by German Expressionist Schmidt-Rottluff which form part of the extensive collection of the Brucke-Museum in Berlin), Ernest Rathenau, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. das graphische werk seit 1923 (Hamburg, 1964), Rosa Schapire, Karl Schmidt-Rottluffs graphisches werk bis 1923 (Berlin, 1924); Jürgen Schilling und Dieter Blume, eds, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Werke 1905-1961 (Braunschweig:, Kunstverein Braunschweig, 1979); Gunnar Thiem,  Prints by Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: A Centenary Celebration (Los Angeles:, LACMA, 1985); Gerhard Wittek, Schmidt-Rottluff Graphik (München: Verlag Karl Thiemig, 1971).
Zwei Akt . Two Nudes (Schapire 173). Original woodcut, 1915. Edition: impression on wove paper published in Die Aktion in 1916. Schmidt-Rottluff is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism and one of its greatest printmakers. His works, some of which have sold for over $6,000,000 at auction, are in every major museum in the U.S. and Europe. Illustrated Shane Weller, ed, German Expressionist Woodcuts (NY: Dover, 1994). Image size: 250x187mm. Price: $3250.
Kopf / Head of a Woman (Schapire 174, Davis-Riffkind 2550). Original woodcut, 1915. Edition: impression on wove paper published in Die Aktion in 1915. Printed text lower left: "Schmidt-Rottluff"; lower right: "Original Holzschnitte." Schmidt-Rottluff is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism and one of its greatest printmakers. His works are in every major museum in the U.S. and Europe. Image size: 248x177mm. Price: $2750.
Kopf / Head of a Woman (Schapire 189, Davis-Riffkind 2552). Original woodcut, 1915. Edition: Impression on wove paper published in Genius in 1919. Schmidt-Rottluff is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism and one of its greatest printmakers. Printed text ext on verso reads "Karl Schmidt-Rottluff / Kopf. Original-Holzschnitt 1915." A beautiful impression in excellent condition with some printer's ink at the right margin far from the border of the woodcut. Ours appears to be a proof before the edition. Illustrated in Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (Nice: Musée Matisse, 1995), n. 94. Image size: 170x237mm. Price: $4250.
Fraukopf / Head of a Woman (Schapire 191, Davis-Riffkind 2551). Original woodcut, 1916. Edition: 600 unsigned impressions on wove paper published in Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1920) with a printed text verso giving title, artist, and identifying it as an "originalholzschnitt." A very good, clean impression of this important print, one frequently illustrated in studies of German Expressionist printmaking such as Shane Weller, ed, German Expressionist Woodcuts (NY: Dover, 1994) and Serge Sabarsky, Graphics of the German Expressionists (Mt. Kisco NY: Moyer Bell Ltd, 1984). Image size: 260x180mm. Price: $4250.
Mann und frau in Mondschein / Man and woman in the moonlight (Schapire 198). Original woodcut, 1917. Edition: Impression on wove paper published in Die Aktion in 1917. Illustrated in Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (Nice: Musée Matisse, 1995), n. 95. Image size: 275x112mm. Price: $3250.
Menschenpaar / Couple (Schapire 199). Original woodcut, 1917. Edition: 110 impressions on wove paper for the first edition published in the deluxe art review, Das Kunstblatt, in 1918, of which ours is one. Printed text lower left: "Schmidt-Rottluff"; lower right: "Original Holzschnitte." Image size: 201x148mm. Price: $4250.
Madchen mit Zopfen / Young woman with pigtails (Schapire W200, Davis-Rifkin 2554). Original woodcut, 1917. Edition: 110 impressions on wove paper for the first edition published in the deluxe art review, Das Kunstblatt, in 1918, of which ours is one. A wonderful rare and beautifullly printed woodcut in excellent shape. Image size: 216x150mm. Price: $4750.
Kopf / Head of a Woman (Schapire 224, Davis-Riffkind 2563:6). Original woodcut, 1918. Edition: One of 100 impressions on Butten published in Die Aktion. This is one of 9 woodcuts that Schmidt-Rottluff executed for Das Spiel Christa, a play by Alfred Brust published by Die Aktion Verlag. (The upper right corner is not torn; there is a big margin; that is simply the way Schmidt-Rottluff cut the block.) Image size: 127x88mm. Price: $2750.
Kopf / Kristus (Wittek 121, Schapire 208). Original woodcut, 1918. Edition: 75 signed and numbered impressions on paper with larg margins published in the 1919 portfolio, Neun Holzschnitt / Nine Woodcuts. Ours impression was published in the deluxe art review, Genius (1919) in an unsigned edition without margins with the description "original holzschnitt." One of the most powerful porints of the twentieth century, it was described by W. R. Valentiner soon after its publication as "a frightful vision on which is marked the stiffling terror of the German people. . . . The one eye is closed in pain; the other, open wide in prophecy: therefrom pierce glances of sorrow and oppression, which bore deep into one's mind. The caption reminds us that in this year "Christ did not appear to you." Image size: 220x171mm. Price: SOLD.
Kleine Prophetin / Little Prophetess (Schapire W. 253, Davis-Rifkind 2565). Original woodcut, 1919. Published in Das graphische Jahrbuch edited by Hans Theodor Joel (Darmstadt: Karl Lang Verlag, 1920), ed. c. 600. Schmidt-Rottluff is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism and one of its greatest printmakers. His works are in every major museum in the U.S. and Europe. Image size: 180x120mm. Price: $3750.
Lesender Mann / Man reading (Schapire W274, Davis-Rifkind 2571). Original woodcut, 1921. Edition: Published in the deluxe art review Genius (1921). Schmidt-Rottluff is one of the most important artists of German Expressionism and one of its greatest printmakers. His works, some of which have sold for over $6,000,000 at auction, are in every major museum in the U.S. and Europe. A very good, clean impression. Image size: 181x132mm. Price: $3250.
Der Angler / The fisherman (Wittek 150, Rathenau 4). Original woodcut, 1923. Our impression is from a 1970 printing by Galerie Nierendorf in an edition of 3000. Image size: 181x130mm. Price: $1000.

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