by Isabel Fischer

15 images

For the Brücke group the studio was much more than just a place where art was created: It was somewhere that artists lived and worked, met up with friends, and celebrated. In Berlin in particular the studios were located in the attics of rented houses. In theory, people were not allowed to live or stay overnight in these spaces, but this was a rule that the artists ignored. The studio became a symbol for their anti-establishment sentiments and attitudes, which were reflected not least of all in how the studios were typically fitted out: Though the space was generally fairly limited the artists managed to lend it a personal note by adding pictures, textiles and furniture that they had made themselves, by creating murals or incorporating non-European art.

Many of the works by Brücke artists addressed the studio as a place for self or group presentation. Self-portraits were one theme but so was the artist’s interaction with the model. Moreover, studio scenes were also suitable for displaying to the public the image of a group with a sense of community: This was achieved say by depicting one another or presenting each other while painting. Apart from illustrating the work process the aim was also to show daily life in these spaces. Sometimes you see empty bottles of wine in the background of a picture or a friendly game of chess is portrayed, while another time the gaze is directed towards a moment of intimacy, say by featuring a woman resting on a sofa after the strenuous work of posing as a model.