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Max Pechstein

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Max Pechstein

German, (1881–1955)
Hermann Max Pechstein was a German Expressionist painter and printmaker and a member of the Die Brücke group. He fought on the Western Front during World War I and his art was classified as Degenerate Art by the Nazis. He helped to found and became chairman of the New Secession in Berlin and gained recognition for his decorative and colorful prints that were inspired by the art of Van Gogh, Matisse, and the Fauves. His paintings eventually began to incorporate thick black lines and angular figures. Looking for inspiration, he traveled to Palau in the Pacific ocean. Upon the outbreak of World War I, Pechstein was interned in Japan and returned to Germany via Shanghai, Manila, and New York. He was sent to fight on the Western Front (World War I) in 1916. Despite his notably conservative stance and style, after the German Revolution of 1918–19, Pechstein joined two radical socialist groups: the Arbeitsrat für Kunst and the November Group (German). Beginning in 1922, Pechstein became a professor at the Berlin Academy. Beginning in 1933, Pechstein was vilified by the Nazis because of his art. He was banned from painting or exhibiting his art and later that year was fired from his teaching position. A total of 326 of his paintings were removed from German museums. Sixteen of his works were displayed in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition of 1937.

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