Dismissing attempts to characterize his paintings and graphic work as connected to stylistic movements or to historical events, Max Beckmann positioned himself above the earthly realm and claimed that he painted `truths impossible to put in words'. In contrast, this volume consists of essays that relate his work to the tangible circumstances of its production and reception. Unlike much earlier scholarship that has focused on stylistic analysis or on interpretations of the work's `eternal truth', these essays contextualize aspects of Beckmann's early, middle, and late career by way of detailed reference to contemporary music, film, philosophy, theatre, history, sports, and exile. The anthology thus expands Beckmann scholarship, which only recently has begun to consider context in relation to his position as both a central and an outside figure in the history of modern art in the twentieth century.
The Editors: Rose-Carol Washton Long is Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; she is a specialist in Germanic culture of the early twentieth century and writes about Expressionism, Neue Sachlichkeit, and the Bauhaus. Maria Makela is Professor and Chair of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts; her publications have focused on the visual culture of the Wilhelmine Empire and the Weimar Republic.