At the beginning of the 20th century, emotion became a stylistic device; to observe meant to feel. Driven by instinct and in opposition to academic canons, young rebels from the Dresden artist community “Die Brücke” brought landscapes of the soul onto the canvas. In revolt against industrialized society and its conventions, they also sought a nature-based reformation of life. Meanwhile, the circle of editors responsible for the Munich almanac “Der Blaue Reiter” [The Blue Rider] went in search of a new inwardness in art, which allowed for the purely intuitive as much as for cultivated reason.

Independently from these two important factions, the concept of beauty was being questioned and expanded. Colors played a decisive role in this process. Whether garishly glowing or dim and lackluster, colors acted in place of chiaroscuro as the main vehicle of an image’s dramaturgy. The works of the German Expressionists have to this day lost none of their suggestive effect.

Around 130 works from the Swiss Braglia Collection and the German Johenning Collection will be presented for the first time in Vienna, including creations by Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexei Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, August Macke, Franz Marc, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Paul Klee and Lionel Feininger.