This exhibition features more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by the pioneering artists' group known as Brücke. With their emphasis on vivid color and emotional directness, the Brücke artists gave birth to German Expressionism. The exhibition is organized by Reinhold Heller, an internationally recognized scholar in the field. It is on view at the Neue Galerie from February 26 through June 29, 2009. It is the first major museum exhibition devoted to these artists ever held in the United States.
The group was founded in 1905 by four students in Dresden: Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Living and working communally, they shared a fervent faith in a utopian future. The name Brücke, which means "bridge" in German, was chosen to represent their intention of linking the art of the past with that of the future. Drawing on diverse sources, ranging from medieval woodcuts to African and Oceanic art, the Brücke artists fused these influences into a highly distinctive style. Through their art, they sought to restore a sense of value and unity in a fragmenting world.