The term Expressionism is used to describe an art that tends to place emotion, the personal viewpoint and a distorted depiction of the world above reason, balance and an objective view of the world. Although it is often associated with Germany, expressive art was a widespread phenomenon in the early years of the twentieth century.
The use of strong colour for expressive and decorative effect was first developed in post-impressionist art in France by artists such as Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. It was then quickly taken up by a group of artists known as the Fauves (the Wild Beasts) in France, the Colourists in Scotland, the Expressionists in German and the avant garde in Russia. By bringing together works here made by artists across Europe, we hope to show how artistic ideas were spreading, as ‘Modernism’ was being taken up by more and more artists.