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Beck & Eggeling opens an exhibition of works by Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Edvard Munch, Badender Mann, Woodcut with gouges, 1899.

DUSSELDORF.- Three artists who stand in a singular manner for Expressionism: Edvard Munch as forerunner and pioneer, Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner as expressive "superstars" – each of them groundbreaking for the artistic development in the 20th century.

They knew each other: Nolde became a member of the "Brücke" group in 1906, in which Kirchner was one of the leading minds. But after only a few months, Nolde separated from the younger artists again in 1907. In the same year he met Munch in Berlin, about whose work he had been enthusiastic before. The "Brücke" artists were also fascinated by Munch's work and they tried in vain to win the Norwegian artist for joint projects. It was not until 1912, when the end of the "Brücke" was already in sight, that Kirchner met Munch at the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne, where they exchanged their views on the exhibition. The personal contact between the three artists should never become closer, but they did observe each other's development from a distance – with defensive judgement like Kirchner, as with artistic appreciation like Munch.

In parallel to the large Edvard Munch exhibition at the Kunstsammlung NRW in Düsseldorf, Beck & Eggeling is presenting watercolours, drawings and prints by the three artists from 9 October to 21 December 2010. They reveal the perception of man as an individual, of man and woman, of togetherness and isolation and of nature, as a metaphor of vitality and expression of inner emotions.

The synopsis shows formal and content-related parallels, similarities and differences. With his work, Munch had prepared the artistic freedom that Nolde and Kirchner knew how to use independently for themselves. This becomes clear in the works on paper, where the innovative and unconventional design of all three artists is expressed directly. In the radical reduction of the representation and in the new handling of colour, line and surface, the dramatic power of Expressionism unfolds with great impact.

The power of the works becomes perceptible in the exhibition. In addition to watercolours and drawings, most of them are from private collections, technically brilliant etchings and lithographs by Nolde, lent from the Nolde Sammlung Seebüll, can be seen in the exhibition. The Munch works belong to a Norwegian private collection and were partly purchased directly from Munch by the father of the current owner. For the first time in decades, they are shown in public again: Drawings and once scandalous prints, including hand-coloured prints by the artist and experimental sheets with unique character.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

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