Max Pechstein - Max Pechstein Biography, Artwork, Galleries Online | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Occupation: Painter, Printmaker
Movement: German Expressionism
Max Pechstein's Famous Artworks
“The Sleeper, ”1908
 “Dancer (Pair of Dancers),” 1909
“The Black and Yellow Jersey,” 1909
“Bank of a Lake,” 1910
“Girl on a Green Sofa with a Cat,” 1910
“The Masked Woman,” 1910
“Under the Trees,” 1911
“Dawn,” 1911
“The Wounded,” 1917
“Self-Portrait with Death,” 1920
“Head of a Fisherman,” 1922
Max Pechstein was a German painter and printmaker. He was also a member of Die Brücke, a group of German Expressionist artists. Pechstein is best known for painting nudes and landscapes, which he has exhibited at a number of galleries and museums.
Max Pechstein's Education and Die Brücke
Pechstein was born in Zwickau on December 31, 1881. His father was a craftsman in a textile mill. Pechstein apprenticed as a decorator for four years between 1896 and 1900 in Zwickau. In 1900, he moved to Dresden and enrolled to study at the Kunstgewerbeschule under Otto Gussmann. He met Erich Heckel in 1906 and through him, came in contact with members of Die Brücke, the group Heckel had founded the year before. The Brücke were already developing a reputation as an important association in the rise of German Expressionism. Pechstein soon joined the group; he was the only member who had trained formally in painting as most of the group’s founders were students of architecture. He stayed close to this group for the next four years, painting in Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's studios. As a student, Pechstein’s work had been closer to the Impressionist style but soon, influenced by other members of the Brücke as well as Expressionist artists like Henri Matisse, his brushstrokes became more vigorous and colors more jarring. Along with Heckel and Kirchner, Pechstein also painted “en plein air.”
After traveling to Italy and France in 1907 and 1908, Pechstein returned to Germany and settled in Berlin. Max Pechstein's work was shown at the Berliner Sezession in 1909 but rejected the following year. Along with other artists rejected in 1910, Pechstein founded the Neue Sezession and was made its chairman. Following his association with the Berliner Sezession, Pechstein was expelled from Die Brücke. The group disbanded the following year.
Max Pechstein's Recognition
Pechstein developed an interest in “primitive” art like many other Expressionist painters and traveled to Palau in the western Pacific around 1914 where he painted a number of “exotic” subjects. Eventually, his work acquired features like thick black lines and angular figures. Pechstein never broke entirely with the Expressionist style and for this reason, many consider him a conservative artist. Perhaps it was this approach that also brought him greater recognition and financial success than many of his contemporaries from the Brücke. In 1916, the first monograph on Pechstein’s work was published, followed by more books. He also received commissions to decorate houses and make designs for stained glass windows. He returned to Germany at the outbreak of World War I. At the end of the war, he joined two socialist groups — Novembergruppe and Arbeitsrat für Kunst.
Max Pechstein's Later Years
In 1922, Pechstein became the member of the Preussische Akademie der Künste in Berlin and took up a teaching position at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste. The German government commissioned him to design a stained glass window for the building of the International Labor Office in Geneva in 1926. With the rise of the Nazis, Pechstein suffered because of his political position. His work was labeled “degenerate” and censored in 1933. He was also forced to resign from his teaching position and the following year was removed from the Preussische Akademie der Künste. He spent part of World War II hiding in rural Pomerania. He was reinstated to his earlier position after the war and received many honors. You can buy Max Pechstein's artworks online.
Max Pechstein's Major Exhibitions 
1906  -  Third German Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Berlin
1909  -  Spring Exhibition Berlin 
1912  -  Kunsthalle, Mannheim
1914  -  Salon Ludwig Schames, Frankfurt
1921  -  National Galerie, Berlin
1927  -  Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
1935  -  Gallery Lilienfeld, New York
1939  -  Galerie Von der Heyde, Berlin
1951  -  School of Fine Arts, Berlin
1952  -  Museum Lindau, Lindau
2008  -  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
2009  -  Art Basel, Miami
2010  -  Groninger Museum, Groninger
2010–11  -  Sprengel Museum, Hanover
2011  -  Kunsthalle, Kiel
2012  -  San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego
2013  -  State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
2015  -  Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
2015  -  Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
Max Pechstein's Museums/Collections
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Brücke Museum, Berlin-Dahlem
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
Kunstmuseum, Lucerne
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota
Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal
"Max Pechstein" by Walther Heymann
"Max Pechstein: The Rise and Fall of German Expressionism" by Bernhard Fulda
"Max Pechstein: An Expressionist Passion Retrospective" by Peter Thurman and Aya Soika
"Max Pechstein" by Petra Lewey



LOT SOLD (1992 - 2010)






TOTAL SALES (1992 - 2010)


 Russisches Ballett I by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Russisches Ballett I

Swann Galleries, New York

March 13, 2018

$3,250  USD

 Am Fluss (At The River) by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Am Fluss (At The River)

Sotheby's, London

March 1, 2018

$190,711  USD

 Sagemuhle, Leba (Holtzlagerplatz) (Sawmill, Leba (Timber Yard)) by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Sagemuhle, Leba (Holtzlagerplatz) (Sawmill, Leba (

Sotheby's, London

March 1, 2018

$25,428  USD


Max Pechstein at Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | August 4, 2017

‘Imaginary Ancestors’ at Almine Rech Gallery, New York

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | May 1, 2017

Auction Preview: Auctionata’s ‘Four Seasons Landscape Paintings from 17th-20th Century,’ Jan 16

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | January 16, 2017


Max Pechstein at Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | August 2, 2017

‘Imaginary Ancestors’ at Almine Rech Gallery

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | April 29, 2017