Blue Land and City Noise: an Expressionist Stroll Through Art and Literature

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“Are there still any surprises left to be had when it comes to German Expressionism?” asks the writer Michael Kumpfmüller. This beautifully produced volume demonstrates that there are, inviting readers on a stroll through the world of Expressionism with seldom considered artwork and literary excerpts that probe German Expressionism’s continued resonance today.

Colorful, emotional, impulsive, and modern—it is hard to believe that German Expressionist works caused such a scandal when they first entered the scene in the early twentieth century. And yet, artists and writers were united in the vision of a new beginning combined with fundamental social criticism. Many targets of Expressionist critique—such as social inequality in the big city, the sleazy glamour of the entertainment world, and the disappointments of new technology—remain disquietingly topical to this day. The powerful images and texts of this collection explore how the Expressionist fascination with change and decay ramifies throughout the art and literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Featuring writers of world rank in dialogue with the crème de la crème of German Expressionism—including Wassily Kandinsky, Alfred Döblin, Robert Musil, Max Pechstein, Else Lasker-Schüler, Lyonel Feininger, Franz Kafka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and many more—this beautifully illustrated volume will be essential for lovers of art and literature.

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