(German, 1881–1955) was a German painter, printmaker, and member of the German Expressionist group, Die Brucke. Born in Zwickau, Pechstein studied at the Royal Art Academy under Otto Gussmann
(German, 1869–1926). There, he met Erich Heckel
(German, 1883–1970) who, in 1906, invited him to join Die Brücke, a group of young artists and architects that would establish Expressionism in Germany. He worked in the studios of Heckel and fellow Die Brücke member, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
(German, 1880–1938), producing works stylistically similar to other Brücke members. In 1912, he was expelled from the organization for showing with the Berlin Secession artist collective. Like other Expressionists, he developed an interest in Primitive Art and traveled to the Pacific Islands in 1914. Throughout his travels and career, he never broke radically with Expressionism. Perhaps because of this, he achieved great critical and commercial success at the time. He decorated several private residences and designed stained glass windows at the commission of the German government
At the conclusion of World War I, Pechstein joined the socialist groups Novembergruppe and Arbeitsrat fur Kunstl. In 1922, Pechstein began a teaching position at the Berlin Academy. However, due to his political associations, Pechstein was dismissed in 1933 by the Nazis and his work was censored. He was reinstated to his post in 1946, and again enjoyed widespread acclaim. He died in West Berlin in 1955.