(Hermann) Max Pechstein (1881 – 1955)

(Hermann) Max Pechstein

Still Life in Grey

Berlin, signed and dated 1913

Oil on canvas

100.3 x 74.6 cm

Signed with monogram and dated upper right: HMP

This colourful still life presents an unusual combination of objects including a cauliflower, a blue and white Chinese jar and a carved wooden stool from Cameroon (then a German colony). This last item may reference an exhibit which Pechstein saw displayed in Dresden’s Ethnographic Museum. The European avant-garde was fascinated with so-called ‘primitive art’, combining genuine admiration with attitudes now considered problematic. Pechstein was a leading member of Die Brücke (The Bridge), an artists’ collective at the forefront of the development of Expressionism, a movement which aimed for new and emotional responses to the modern world. This painting, with its deconstructed forms, shows Pechstein’s growing awareness of Cubism.

Purchased 2022 (No. 2022.2)