Collection

RHINELAND EXPRESSIONISM

Significant works by the group of artists known as the Rhineland Expressionists are another focus of the collection of the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss. They range from major paintings to selected watercolors and drawings to rare reverse-glass paintings.

 

Alongside Dresden, Berlin and Munich, the Rhineland was an important center of Expressionism in Germany. Following the example of the Brücke and Blauer Reiter artists who had formed their groups in 1905 and 1911, the Rhineland Expressionists came together in 1913 in Bonn. The house where August Macke lived and had his studio in Bornheimer Strasse was the meeting place for this Rhineland art scene. He initiated the Exhibition of Rhineland Expressionists which brought together representative works by16 progressive artists at the Friedrich Cohen bookstore and art business. The idea was to establish the Rhine region as another important center of the new Expressionist movement in art. Although the painters were not united by a homogeneous style or a common program, the name and the identification as a group were important to the artists. The exhibition featured around 60 works by August Macke, Heinrich Campendonk, Max Ernst, Helmuth Macke, Heinrich Nauer and Paul Adolf Seehaus, among others; they are considered the major protagonists of Rhineland Expressionism and are represented in the collection of the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss with characteristic works. In their search for new means of expression the Rhineland artists were united by their expressive pictorial vocabulary and their closeness to French art, as seen by the Fauvist tendencies in the work of some of the artists. The out break of the First World War put an end to the lively artistic activity
in the Rhineland.