PRINT March 1974




Carol Duncan’s article, “Virility and Domination in Early 20th-Century Vanguard Painting” (Artforum, December, 1973) mows down a lot of Brücke art with one ideological swipe—but misses the central point of much figure painting in the Brücke’s Fauve-like and primitivistic idioms. Ideology is fine as long as it doesn’t run counter to the facts.

1. Ideology: In Brücke art, the female model is “reduced to flesh,” and the masklike faces of Brücke models “deny the presence of a human consciousness.” Fact: Many early drawings and paintings by Kirchner, Heckel, and Pechstein portray the female nude as a lively companion. Couples pose together, gaze intently toward the same subjects (remember the old Freundschaftsporträt?). Even when the female is portrayed alone, as in Kirchner’s famous 1909–10 paintings of Fränzi and Marcella (Marcella, Moderna Museet, Stockholm), two adolescent girls the

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