“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
The founder and main promoter of the German Expressionist group Die Brücke (The Bridge), Ernst Kirchner started out as a self-taught artist while still studying architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, where he was awarded the 1905 diploma. In 1904 he moved temporarily to Munich, where he worked in the studio of Wilhelm Debschitz and Hermann Obrist and became acquainted with the woodcut technique through Dürer’s work. Back in Dresden, in June 1905 he was involved – together with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff — in creating the revolutionary minded and intensely active Brücke group. His interest in primitive art, which he viewed at Dresden’s Ethnographic Museum, was reflected in both his paintings and the furniture and murals he produced for the studio he shared with Heckel in a former butcher’s shop in the working class district of Friedrichstadt.