Max Beckmann is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th Century and one of the foremost printmakers of the period as well. His printmaking efforts reveal an intensity of feeling and an enigmatic imagery which still resonates today. In fact as time has passed Beckmann’s prints have increased in relevance for new generations of artists, collectors, and curators.
According to the marvelous Max Beckmann print catalogue raisonne compiled by Mr. James Hofmaier and published by Gallery Kornfeld, Bern, in 1990, Beckmann produced 373 prints in his lifetime. He made etchings, drypoints, lithographs, and woodcuts. Mr. Hofmaier notes that Beckmann preferred the drypoint and lithograph, these being more direct methods for his image making. His remarkable ability as a draughtsman enabled him to achieve a personal style in both of these mediums. In some ways the absence of color in his prints serves to emphasize the power and intelligence of Beckmann’s complex compositions.
Currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is a much admired exhibition Max Beckmann in New York, thoughtfully organized by the eminent art historian Sabine Rewald. In 1950 Max Beckmann was on his way to the Metropolitan Museum to see his “Self Protrait in Blue Jacket” which was on view at the museum when he was stricken by a fatal heart attack. The show features many works that Beckmann made in the last year of his life while living in New York City, as well as additional works from New York collections. The exhibition is on view through February 20th, 2017.
A number of dealers in the “Printed-Editions.com” family have specialized in Beckmann prints for many years. These dedicated dealers, as well as countless artists, collectors, and curators long ago recognized the quality and importance of Max Beckmann’s print “oeuvre”.