Best known for his extraordinary number of self-portraits, Beckmann received great critical acclaim throughout the years of the Weimar Republic, but his art was denounced by the Nazis and, upon Hitler’s ascension to power, rejected as degenerate art. Originally failing to gain a visa to the U.S. and painting in a studio in Amsterdam, Beckmann eventually emigrated after the war to New York. He died there in 1950.
One of the few ‘landscape’ prints in the suite, ‘Spring’, like the others, is likely set in a Frankfurt street. As with these other landscapes too, the natural world of Frankfurt - the skies, surrounding trees, parks and river - represent an antidote to the claustrophobia of urban life and the horrors of the front lines. Unlike the crowded compositions of ‘Café Music’ or ‘Madhouse’, ‘Spring’ is relatively open: the streets part for the sun and whirling streams of cloud, all effected with lighter, wispy drypoint lines in stark contrast to the thick, iron flag-pole that protrudes from the building as a man and woman look on with the viewer
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