New York

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Woman in a Green Jacket, 1913, oil on canvas, 31 5⁄8 × 27 5⁄8".

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Woman in a Green Jacket, 1913, oil on canvas, 31 5⁄8 × 27 5⁄8".

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Neue Galerie New York

The women traipsing through the painted worlds of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are as kaleidoscopic as his colors. Some are birds of paradise—chartreuse-skinned acrobats, strumpets in black stockings, begonia-pink ballerinas—who seem to exist for our delectation alone. Others are portrayed as individuals as stormy and complex as the artist himself. Take the subject of Woman in a Green Jacket, 1913: She appears wary, even resentful, with tight-set lips and narrow, apprehensive eyes. The angle from which we view her suggests that we are straddling her thighs as she lies back, squinting up at us as though our gaze is a harsh, invasive light.

Relations between the sexes fascinated Kirchner, who was born in 1880 and began his career in Dresden, where he founded the German Expressionist group Die Brücke in 1905. His studio became the nexus for a bohemian cabal of artists and models who took a dim view

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