Here is a bit of information taken directly from Wikipedia:
The Brücke (Bridge), also Künstlergruppe Brücke or KG Brücke was a group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905. Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller. The seminal group had a major impact on the evolution of modern art in the 20th century and the creation of expressionism The group came to an end around 1913. The Brücke Museum in Berlin was named after the group.
I had never heard of “Die Brucke”, nor was I familiar with any of the artists named above, so this was all completely new to me.
The group, I’ve learned, was often compared to the “Fauves” of France, those artists who painted “beastly” scenes with wild, unnatural colors, although it’s been said that the crude drawings and sexually-charged works of Die Brucke made the Fauves “tame in comparison.”
The group was founded by four architectural students who met at school — a technical university in Dresden. The school taught art classes in addition to architecture, and the friends often met to discuss art, especially art as it would be in the future. They adopted the name “die brucke” — meaning bridge — as a way of connecting the past, present, and future. They called on all young artists to find their own way and “wrest freedom” from the older, established forces of the past.
Erich Heckel rented an empty butcher’s shop for the group to use as a studio. Fellow artist Fritz Bleyl described it as “that of a real bohemian, full of paintings lying all over the place, drawings, books, and artist’s materials — much more like an artist’s romantic lodgings than the home of a well-organized architectural student.”
One of the best articles I found on the art movement is at Art Story. You’ll find it here. It includes not only an overview of the movement and its legacy, but biographies of the artists who were part of Die Brucke, and suggested references for additional study.
You can also view art from these artists at MoMa: Die Brucke, or you can spend a couple minutes watching this informative video on YouTube.
Although the movement lasted for less than a decade, it is nevertheless a fascinating period in the history of art. It ended around 1913 due to “artistic differences” and the outbreak of World War I.
I know that if an exhibition based on Die Brucke is ever on display at a gallery or museum near me, I will definitely visit. I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn about this art group.