(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)

Learn More

Read the talk transcript from Dr Camilla Smith, Associate Professor in Art History, who provides further information and context for this work.

Talk transcript (WORD DOC 35.8KB)

Talk transcript (PDF 158.31KB)