Erich Heckel, »Stehende«, 1920
On the occasion of the spectacular acquisition of Erich Heckel’s wooden sculpture Stehende (Standing Nude) from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz show a small selection of the artist’s works related to the nude and the material wood. Erich Heckel, who would celebrate his 140th birthday in 2023, grew up in Chemnitz as well as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Together with Fritz Bleyl, they founded the avant-garde artists‘ group Brücke in Dresden in 1905. Already in the founding year of the Brücke, the first sculptures in wood were created, first by Heckel, later also by Kirchner and Schmidt-Rottluff, as the material was seen as an original, natural one. As a result, they developed a spontaneous and angular — woodcut-like — style that is still regarded as typically Expressionist today. After a studio fire, the Standing Figure by Erich Heckel is today the youngest of the artist’s seven surviving wooden sculptures and thus of particular importance for his sculptural œuvre.