Ernst Ludwig Kirchner  (German, 1880-1938) 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880–1938), born in Aschaffenburg, Germany, was an Expressionist painter, printmaker, and sculptor. Despite studying architecture at the Königliche Technische Hochschule of Dresden, Kirchner dedicated his life to art. He was even one of the founders of The Bridge (Die Brücke), an artist group that played a major role in the development of the Expressionist movement. Kirchner established The Bridge with Fritz Bleyl (German, 1880–1966), Erich Heckel (German, 1883–1970), and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884–1976). The Bridge lasted approximately eight years before it was disbanded in 1913, when Kirchner wrote Chronik der Brücke.

A year later, the artist volunteered for army service for WWI; he was discharged in 1915 due to a nervous breakdown. While recovering from his breakdown, Kirchner painted Self-Portrait as a Soldier, which portrayed him as missing his right hand, although he never had an amputation. In 1918, Kirchner moved to Davos, Switzerland, where he changed his focus to the mountain scenery. By 1933, Kirchner’s art was declared "degenerate" by the Nazis. As a result, over 600 of his pieces were confiscated from public museums, and were either destroyed or sold. Due to the distress of his art being destroyed and the Nazi occupation close to his home, he committed suicide in 1938 in Frauenkirch, Switzerland.

Though some of the artist’s work was destroyed, the United States had already began collecting Kirchner’s works in 1921, and continued to do so throughout the next few decades. The American museums and galleries that have featured his art include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Guggenheim Museum in New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Additional major museums that hold examples of Kirchner's art include the Kirchner Museum Davos in Switzerland, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Städel Museum in Frankfurt.

Some of Kirchner's most famous artworks are Berlin, Nude Dancers, Head of a Sick Person, Street Scene with Two Cocottes, Nude Girl, and Head of Girde. This well-known Expressionist artist has been highlighted in many books, such as Kirchner by Norbert Wolf, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner by Magdalena Moeller, and Kirchner (Big Art) by Lucius Grisebach.

Find Ernst Ludwig Kirchner artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Heuer


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Auction: May 16, 2014
Dobiaschofsky Auktionen
View Details | entire auction
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Teestunde (Tea Hour)


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Teestunde (Tea Hour)

Alice Adam Ltd.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Mädchen auf violettem Sessel


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Mädchen auf violettem Sessel

Galerie Nierendorf
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Stilleben mit zwei Holzfiguren und Blumen


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Stilleben mit zwei Holzfiguren und Blumen

Galerie Henze & Ketterer & Triebold
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Stilleben mit Krügen und Kerze


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Stilleben mit Krügen und Kerze

Galerie Henze & Ketterer
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Stilleben mit zwei Holzfiguren und Blumen


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Stilleben mit zwei Holzfiguren und Blumen

Galerie Henze & Ketterer
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Waldinneres (Bergwald)


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Waldinneres (Bergwald)

Galerie Henze & Ketterer
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Stilleben mit Krügen und Kerze


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Stilleben mit Krügen und Kerze

Galerie Henze & Ketterer & Triebold
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Ruhender Mädchenakt


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ruhender Mädchenakt

Galerie Ludorff
Past auction results (4222)  View All
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Salomé


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
bronze w/brown patina, ivory and turquoise stones


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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Segelboote bei Fehmarn


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Segelboote bei Fehmarn, 1914


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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Drei sitzende Akte im Raum


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Drei sitzende Akte im Raum, 1909


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1880   Born in Aschaffenburg
1890   His family settled in Chemnitz
1901 - 1905   Studied architecture in Dresden and pictorial art in Munich
1905   Founded the „Brücke“ group in Dresden together with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
1908   Born in Aschaffenburg, Germany
1911   Moved to Berlin; founded the MUIM Institute together with Max Pechstein
1913   His work was exhibited in the Armory Show, New York; first solo shows in Germany; dissolution of the „Brücke“ group
1914   In the heat of the outbreak of World War I he joined the army and was later discharged because of a physical collapse
1917   Settled in Frauenkirch, near Davos, Switzerland
1920   Major exhibitions in Germany
1931   Was made a member of the Prussian „Akademie der Künste“
1937   Was asked to resign as a memberof the academy; the Nazis included his work in the exhibition „Entartete Kunst“, so-called „degenerate art“, more than 600 of his works were confiscated from German museums
1938   He died by his own hand in Frauenkirch
2011   Die unbekannte Sammlung - Klassiker der Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany
2011   Kirchner. Zeichnungen, Druckgrafiken und Gemälde, Hamburg Kunsthalle
2011   Bildteppiche von Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Entwürfe, Vorlagen, Ausführungen, Museum Biberach
2010 - 2011   Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner und Max Pechstein, Der Blick auf Fränzi und Marcella, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany
2008   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - The Unexpected New, Michael Werner Gallery, New York City, NY
2007 - 2008   Expressionismus aus den Bergen, Kunstmuseum Bern / Groninger Museum, Groningen / Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur, Switzerland
2007   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Berlin Street Scene, Neue Galerie New York, New York City, NY
2006   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Auf den zweiten Blick, KEOM Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Hagen
2005   Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (solo)
2003   The National Gallery, Washington (solo)
2003   Royal Academy of Art, London (solo)
1992   The National Gallery, Washington (solo)
1991   Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde, Los Angeles
1991   County Museum of Art in Nazi Germany
1990   Brücke-Museum, Berlin (solo)
1985   German Art of the 20th Century, Royal Academy London, England
1980   Expressionism: A German Intuition, Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1980   Graphisches Kabinett Wolfgang Werner KG, Bremen (solo)
1979   Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (solo)
1979   Haus der Kunst, Munich (solo)
1954   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Aquarelle, Kunsthandlung Gauss
1954   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Frankfurter Kunstverein
1952   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1880-1938, Kunsthaus Zurich (solo)
1952   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Curt Valentin Gallery New York, NY
1950   Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Werke aus dem Kestner-Gesellschaft
1950   Kunsthalle, Bremen (solo)
1948   Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (solo)
1947   Galerie Bremer, Berlin (solo)
1937   Detroit Institute of Art, USA (solo)
1937   The Buchholz Gallery Curt Valentin, New York, USA (solo)
1937   Kunsthalle, Basel (solo)
1937   Degenerate Art, Circulated by Nazis
1933   Ausstellung Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Kunsthalle Bern
1926   Galerie Paul Cassirer, Berlin (solo)
1925   Galerie E. Arnold, Dresden (solo)
1924   Kunstverein Winterthur, Switzerland (solo)
1923   Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
1923   Galerie Paul Cassirer, Berlin (solo)
1921   Kronprinzenpalais, Berlin (solo)
1916   Kunstsalon Ludwig Schames, Frankfurt am Main (solo)
1914   Kunstverein, Jena (solo)
1913   Museum Folkwang, Hagen (solo)
1913   Kunstsalon Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin (solo)
1912   2nd Blaue Reiter exhibition, Blaue Reiter Munich, Germany
1910   1st exhibition of the Neue Secession, Neue Secession Berlin, Germany