Biography

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.
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. His 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.
Recognition
Pechstein developed an interest in “primitive” art like many other Expressionist painters and travelled 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.
Later Years
In 1922, Pechstein became 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.
Timeline
1881  -  Born in Zwickau
1896-1900  -  School of Arts and Crafts, Berlin
1903-06  -  Royal Academy of Arts, Berlin
1907-08  -  Travels in Italy and France
1913-14  -  Voyages in the South Sea
1918  -  Co-founds November Group
1923  -  Professor, Prussian Academy of Arts
1937  -  Expelled from the Prussian Academy of Arts
1933-45  -  Exhibition prohibition
1945  -  Appointed to Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin
1952  -  Awarded Great Cross of Merit
1958  -  Dies in Berlin
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
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
Books/Publications 
Max Pechstein Vol. 1 & 2 by Max Osborn
Max Pechstein by Magdalena M. Moeller
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 Thurrmann and Aya Soika
Max Pechstein: with an autobiography of the artist by Georg Biermann
Max Pechstein by Petra Lewey

ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1992 - 2010)

2565

MAX PRICE

$3,776,831

AVG PRICE

$407,616

TOTAL SALES (1992 - 2010)

$23,234,134

 Die Welle; Fischer im Segelboot by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Die Welle; Fischer im Segelboot

Auktionshaus Dannenberg, Berlin

September 10, 2016

$3,592  USD

 Sommermorgen by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Sommermorgen

Christie's, London

June 23, 2016

 USD

 Bewegungsstudie 20 by Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein

Bewegungsstudie 20

Christie's, London

June 23, 2016

 USD

ARTWORKS FOR SALE
NEWS

Datebook: ‘Recent Acquisitions’ at Galerie St. Etienne, New York

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | September 6, 2016

Top Auction Houses of 2016: Europe

By Art+Auction | August 9, 2016

A Double-Sided Max Pechstein Canvas, Token of the Expressionist's Poverty, Sets $4.6 Million Auction Record

By ARTINFO France | December 15, 2011

GALLERIES
Galerie St. Etienne

New York, US

Galerie Thomas

Munich, DE