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In early twentieth century art, the tendency to depict not objective reality but subjective emotions and personal responses to subjects and events was called Expressionism. Color, drawing, and proportion was often exaggerated or distorted, and symbolic content was very important.
Revolting against the conventional aesthetic forms and cultural norms, expressionists felt a deep sense of social crisis, especially during the years prior to World War I. Many German expressionists rejected the authority of the military, education system and government. They felt deep empathy for the poor and social outcast, who were frequent subjects of their work.
Here are a couple different pieces of expressionist art, mostly from Germany, during the time of World War I. I think its some pretty brilliant stuff….
Wassily Kandinsky sought a spiritual reality beyond the outward appearances of nature and explored problems of form and color. Kandinsky’s art was capable of conveying emotions from the artist to observer through purely visual means without subject manner or literal symbols.
And the research continues….