Self-Portrait in Words: Collected Writings and Statements, 1903-1950

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9780226041360: Self-Portrait in Words: Collected Writings and Statements, 1903-1950
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One of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, Max Beckmann is known for the depth and sensuous force of his works, but little is known about his personal life. Self-Portrait in Words reveals Beckmann's experience of life from the first years of his career in Berlin and Paris through his final years in the United States. This collection of Beckmann's writings serves as a companion to his art and a testament to the complexities of his life.

"Barbara Copeland Buenger . . . has done an excellent job of editing and annotating Beckmann's voluminous private and public writings."—Andrea Barnet, New York Times Book Review

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German expressionist painter Max Beckmann, whose paintings were influenced by horrific scenes he witnessed as a medical orderly in World War I, was eventually labeled a "degenerate artist" by the Nazis and forced to flee his homeland. In this collection of essays, speeches, and letters, Beckmann emerges as a deeply intelligent and sensitive observer of the world. Of particular note are writings from the battlefields of 1915, and some of his instructional comments to students from his time spent teaching in the United States in the late 1940s.

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One of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, Max Beckmann was labeled a "degenerate artist" by the Nazis and chose exile. His artistic production encompassed the realism and figural themes of his early works to the provocatively blunt portraiture, critical urban views, and richly layered symbolic works for which he is now universally recognized. Although he was a prolific writer, his written work has never before been collected and translated into English. Beckmann is known for the depth, pungency, and tremendous sensuous force of his works; only in the last twenty years have we come to learn more about his personal life. Self-Portrait in Words maps out Beckmann's life and draws attention to the occasions on or for which he produced his writings, to the importance writing had for him as a form of expression, and to both the contemporary and personal references of his ideas and images.

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