Synopsis by Mark Deming
Artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a bold and innovative voice in European art in the first half of the 20th Century. Forging a visual style that was as influenced by the look and feel of woodcuts as traditional oil techniques, Kirchner often juggled several media at once, as well as moving back and forth between oil painting, prints, sculpture, and drawing. While Kirchner's pathbreaking work earned him an estimable reputation among art enthusiasts, his challenging approach also earned him powerful enemies amongst the leaders of the Third Reich, who declared his work "degenerate." After a period of exile in Switzerland, Kirchner returned to Germany to discover he had been made a pariah by the Nazi government; unable to display his work, Kirchner eventually became a paranoid recluse, and committed suicide in 1938; he was 58 years old. The Life and Art of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is a documentary which takes a detailed look at his life and times, and the body of work he left behind.
artist, Austrian [nationality], career-retrospective, drawing [art], exile, expressionism, life-story, paranoia, pariah, photography, recluse, self-destruction, suicide, Third-Reich