MAX BECKMANN (1884-1950)
This catalogue accompanies the summer 2003 exhibition at Tate Modern on Max Beckmann, widely regarded as one of the most important figurative artists of the last 100 years. Beckmann achieved early success with figurative compostitions executed in an impressionist style. However, the experience of serving in the First World War as a medical orderly completely changed both his outlook and his art. Unlike his contemporaries Otto Dix and George Grosz with whom he exhibited in 1925, he avoided the portrayals of specific instances of evil and the horrors of war. He favoured a thematic, allegorical approach. The moral purpose of the artist, he believed, was to portray the spiritual condition of his age.