Heckel, Erich

Date/place of birth

1883 Döbeln/Saxony

Day/place of death

1970 Radolfzell

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Erich Heckel, artistically self-taught, originally studied architecture in Dresden. This is where he met Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Fritz Bleyl, with whom he founded the artists’ group “Brücke” in 1905. The group’s intention was to “directly and genuinely” convey the subjective experience in an artistic manner. Following the analysis of Vincent van Gogh’s work and Edvard Munch’s woodcuts, among others, the “Brücke” members developed the “Brücke” style during the years of 1908/09, which was to become one of the most influential movements of Expressionism. In 1906, Max Pechstein also joined this group, Otto Müller became a member in 1910. Similar to the other member’s work, an extraordinary intensification of expressiveness – resulting from an intense reduction of shapes and a simultaneous visualisation of the work process – is inherent to Erich Heckel’s work. Together with the other “Brücke” members, he frequently worked in open nature, i.a. in Dangast on the North Sea coast and by the Moritzburg lakes near Dresden. Heckel’s preferred motifs were landscapes and depictions of the nude, which he also carried out in print works, above all in woodcuts. Following joint exhibitions, i.a. at the “Deutsche Herbstsalon” in 1913 and summer vacations on the Baltic coast, the “Brücke” dissolved in 1913. After his deployment in the First World War, Erich Heckel’s life in the 1920s was characterised by travel and the participation in numerous exhibitions. Henceforth, the watercolour technique gained importance for the artist; he worked with a brighter palette and closer to nature. The National Socialists denounced Heckel’s works as “degenerate”. In 1944, the artist moved to Hemmenhofen by Lake Constance; he taught at the Academy of Arts in Karlsruhe from 1949-55. His late work concentrated on subtly-coloured landscapes and still lifes.

Erich Heckel Prices

Artist Artwork Price
Erich Heckel Meerlandschaft (Ostende) €124.000
Erich Heckel Männerbildnis €105.400
Erich Heckel Stehendes Kind (Fränzi stehend) €96.000
Erich Heckel Landschaft im Nahetal €66.533
Erich Heckel Männerbildnis €60.000
Erich Heckel Weisse Pferde €58.560

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