The Expressionist

We moved into a new realm with this one.

Edvard Munch, the Dance of Life 1900What is expressionism anyway? and why is it so important that I find a way to define it for you? Why do so many people adhere to it without even knowing that what they are doing exists in a special realm and is it only artists that do it?

Artists definitely work “it,”and there are all sorts of styles and media in art. But regular people do “it” all the time too. Any time you find yourself lost in something where you take part and the “you” emerges in the experience, lost to the practical world… You are an expressionist! When you rush up to the edge of the ocean, diving into the warm waves! yelling and flailing your arms in the air! You are an expressionist! When you start screaming at your loved one in rage trying to get you point across, good, bad, ugly,  you are living it!

By Rachel Ehrgood

But what makes artist an expressionist and not you, generally? And what makes one artist an expressionist and not another? This is where I get to try! IAM the ultimate Expressionist! It is the nature of what I do. But before I go there, let me continue to chip away. In the art world, the term  “Expressionism” is linked to visual works that came out of Germany in the early 1900’s before this extreme style was seen anywhere else. The paintings were more and more emotionally charged and less true to what was seen. True to life! Yes!  but violently different. Then there is Friederich Nietzsche, who helped define these areas of ancient art that historically had not yet come to light. He helped define “Expressionism” for us. His theory acknowledged two types of an “aesthetic experience.” He recognized the “incompatible yet inseparable extremes present in any work of art.” The inspiration of the identifiable and the real in conjunction with the intangible often chaotic dream state.


Painting By Walter Eres

Because of this uncharted and surprising discovery, “Expressionism” was defined and developed over time into a more general term referring to art which “expresses intense emotion” “All artists are expressionists” actually… but it is that emphasis on this “intense communication” that points toward the “Expressionist.” “The Expressionist rejects immediate perception and builds on more complex psychic structures.” In the art world, the impressionists sought to softly convey the visual appearance of objects, where expressionists capture emotions, subjective interpretations of objects and events. The important thing is not to reproduce an aesthetically pleasing impression of a subject matter, but  to seek vivid emotional reactions through powerful colors and dynamic compositions instead.

Under it all… is the artist… struggling to let something out from his soul… where he hopes to move his audience and give them an experience. That in itself puts him in our category of expressionism. But for argument sake,  I will simplify my definition by saying: Expressionism is the form of art, born vigorously from the soul of the creator…! Ah ha!  I said it! Yes! The creator!  It is the artist in touch with something deep and important, unleashed. This is no game! The artist strives to get at it and makes a sacrifice as he offers it to his audience. This is a risk he takes! It is not fun to depict pain and sorrow? It is not easy to depict humor and joy? Don’t you agree that it is lofty to hope that one could express something that could bring a change in another? Well, it is what it is and we were born to do it. It is our challenge and we persevere as we toil at it until we one day we are satisfied. And it is our hope that it matters to you. So don’t miss it…

The Expressionism Show

at the

Ivanhoe Wheelhouse

Art, Musical Performances, Slide Shows, Open Microphone

August 30, 31, and September 1. 3pm – midnight at the Great Falls Festival 2008.

Thank you to Joe Muti, Curator

Featuring works by your favorite Ivanhoe Artists and lots of new comers too. For a complete listing and directions see our website. And don’t forget to party with us for our last Wednesday “Open Mike” Or did you think we couldn’t handle it?

8pm starring the usual Ivanhoe crowd.

Join us for refreshments and a great show! Bring a friend and lend a hand. This is our opportunity to share once more. Thank you to Mayor Joey Torres Marcia Juilan Jamie Dykes Joe Mania and all the Volunteers that make this program possible.

IAM, Christine