For this terms work we would like you to look at the artistic period or style known as “Expressionism”. Historically it originated in Germany and Austria at the beginning of the C20th but it has remained in its many forms up to and including the present day.
You will also come across ‘Abstract Expressionism’, Willem de Kooning & Jackson Pollock’; Figurative Expressionism’ Ernst Kirchner & Edvard Munch; and ‘Neo- Expressionism’ Frank Auerbach & Leon Kossoff and you will see that this way of painting stretched beyond Europe and has stayed around in many forms. You will certainly recognise many of the paintings that you come across but we would like you to have a good look at the way in which composition, colour, texture and form are worked together to convey a subject matter or theme in a dramatic way. What do these paintings say? Are they expressing feelings or emotions, is it propaganda or relaying an event? Communication is at the very heart of any artwork be it conscious or subconscious but with Expressionism there is real intention to communicate in a more intense way through use of colour, texture, line and composition.
If strong colour and texture appeals to you, have a look at “Fauvism” and Henri Matisse & Andre Derrain, as their use of complementary colour in both Portraiture & Landscape is dynamic. Look at the work of Franz Marc and then in slight contrast, the landscapes of Maurice de Vlaminck.
Bearing in mind that all of the above is just putting the term into an historical context, Expressionism can be employed to help you communicate your feelings towards any subject matter. For instance you can exaggerate or distort shape line and colour or merely enhance colour for dramatic effect. A sunset can be made more vivid by use of complementary colour. Colour and shape can be manipulated to convey mood and express emotion; fear, passion, love, beauty etc. A more modern example which is very familiar to many of
you is David Hockney’s landscapes where his use of line, shape and colour captures his love of the Yorkshire landscape.