Artwork of the month by Max Beckmann

3October 2007

I have never really liked Max Beckmann’s work.  I found it unskilled, childish, and uninventive.  For years I would simply walk past this painting, paying it no mind.  Working at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, I have found myself paying attention to works of art that I would have normally ignored. Subsequently, I have changed my perspective on many works of art; Beckmann’s piece included.

Although I still do not like his poor use of composition, I find Beckmann’s use of color enjoyable. The layers of color, dark over light over dark, is typical of the expressionists and still innovative today.  Philosophically this work is a personal catharses and an escape from World War II.

Max Beckmann
German, 1884-1950
“Blind Mans Buff”
1945, oil on canvas.

“I think only of objects: of a leg or an arm, of the wonderful sense of foreshortening, breaking through the plane, of the division of space, of the combination of straight lines in relation to curved ones.”
-Max Beckmann

Pay attention to the content in this painting…
…it can surprise you.