Max Beckmann

Germany, b.1884, d.1950

Schiessbude (The Shooting Gallery/Stall)

  • Etching
  • 523 x 376mm
  • 73/153
  • 1921

With rifle in hand, this young woman stands ready to encourage people to try out the shooting gallery at the fair. Max Beckmann made a series of 10 etchings on fairground people whom he saw as being on the edge of German society. He also saw post-World War I hyperinflation as placing more and more people in the same position. Beckmann used the etching technique to define his subject and setting with broken jagged lines and angular forms, creating an atmosphere of psychological tension. Beckmann was born in Leipzig. He studied art despite his family’s objections and settled in Berlin in 1904. In 1906 he exhibited with the Berlin Secession, the modern face of German art. Beckmann settled in Frankfurt in 1915. However he was removed from his position teaching at the Städtisches Kunstinstitut by the Nazis in 1933 and went to live in Amsterdam in 1937. He moved to the United States in 1947. There he was recognised as one of the major figures in 20th century art.