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Erich Heckel - Am Strand, 1925


Erich Heckel - Am Strand, 1925
Wax crayon on paper
65 x 55.5 cm

From 1909 to 1911 Erich Heckel (1883-1970) spent the summer with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), friends and models, at the Moritzburg Ponds near Dresden. During these stays, the artists devoted themselves mainly to the moving nude in nature. Heckel was fascinated by these studies and continued them until the 1930s.
Am Strand from 1925 can be situated in this group of works. With restless, exploratory strokes Heckel captured the scene on paper. The two female figures are given as much importance as the surrounding nature. The predominantly angular shapes indicate trees, bushes, the beach and the bodies with distinct reduction. In this work, the stylistic use of the non-finito, a term dating back to the 15th century, is clearly evident. The idea is that the viewer can finish incomplete drawings and close the gaps in his mind. Even Leonardo da Vinci was convinced that the non-finito meant a high artistic and intellectual achievement.

About artist
Erich Heckel
Döbeln, 1883 — 1970

Erich Heckel (31.7.1883, Döbeln - 27.1.1970, Radolfzell) began studying architecture in Dresden in 1904, where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl. Already in 1905 he gave up his studies and decided to pursue an autodidactic career as an artist. In June of the same year, he founded the artist group Brücke with Kirchner, Beyl, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff in Dresden. 
In 1937 an exhibition prohibition for Heckel's works was pronounced. As part of the “Degenerate Art” campaign, many of his works were confiscated, burned, and destroyed. In 1944 Heckel found refuge in Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance. After the war, he received various requests to return to Berlin and to take up a teaching post at the Hochschule der Künste, but he refused and stayed in Hemmenhofen until the end of his life.