Abstraction and Empathy on the Eve of World War I

William Sherwin Simmons
2013 Konturen  
This essay considers continuities between the impetus towards abstraction within Jugendstil and Expressionism. Both Hermann Obrist and Franz Marc sought through empathy to intuit and image abstract forces at work within the materiality of the organic and inorganic natural worlds. Their creative practice and theoretical writings share much with Wilhelm Worringer's discussion of the "expressive abstraction" found in the Gothic style, which unified the organic with the abstract. This essay
more » ... This essay explores the trajectories of this visual and textual discourse, paying particular attention to their nexus during 1914 in Obrist's monumental sculptures at the Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne and the development of Marc's paintings over the course of that year.
doi:10.5399/uo/konturen.5.0.3246 fatcat:bzafj6gl5vfjnobr2uijt76cmy