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Figure Sketch (Figurenskizze)

Erich Heckel

European Art

Erich Heckel was a founding member of Die Brücke (The Bridge), the pioneering German Expressionist movement that resisted the strictures of academic art in favor of a freer, more emotional approach. It was inspired by what was then known as “primitive art,” mainly meaning non-Western painting and sculpture, especially from Africa and the Pacific Islands. Here, Heckel depicts a group of nude men in an idyllic rural landscape. The German Expressionists’ work was denounced by Adolf Hitler as “degenerate” in 1937, in part because of their unorthodox depictions of the nude. By 1944, Heckel’s woodblocks and printing plates had been destroyed by the Nazis, and other of his works were lost in Allied bombing raids.

Heckel’s painting Roquairol (1917), in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, inspired Iggy Pop’s pose for the cover of his album The Idiot.
MEDIUM Color lithograph in black, green, and violet on laid paper
  • Place Made: Germany
  • DATES 1927
    DIMENSIONS Image: 22 5/16 x 16 9/16 in. (56.7 x 42.1 cm) Sheet: 27 1/8 x 20 15/16 in. (68.9 x 53.2 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed, "Erich Heckel 27" lower right margin, in pencil
    INSCRIPTIONS Lower right in graphite: "Figurenskizze"; lower right in graphite: "Erich Heckel 27"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Erich Heckel (German, 1883–1970). Figure Sketch (Figurenskizze), 1927. Color lithograph in black, green, and violet on laid paper, Image: 22 5/16 x 16 9/16 in. (56.7 x 42.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 58.166.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 58.166.2_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 58.166.2_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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