Impressionism - Expressionism: Art at a Turning Point

Camille Pissarro's famous "Boulevard Montmartre at Night" shows a brightly illuminated avenue in Paris — the city lights turned into gentle dabs of oil paint. Next to the French impressionist's 1897 work is a painting by German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner from 1912 depicting a Berlin street scene in flashy yellow, blue and black — the broad brush stokes clearly visible.
Both masterpieces are featured in "Impressionism - Expressionism: Art at a Turning Point," a Berlin exhibition which opens Friday at the city's Alte Nationalgalerie museum.
More than 160 works by mainly French impressionists and German expressionists are on display in themed galleries, the majority of them from Berlin collections, but also from other museums around the world. The curators frequently paired impressionist with expressionist works to show the same subjects treated in different styles.
"The difference is that the impressionists paint what they see, and only what they see, and try to keep their experiences and what they know away from the painting," said Angelika Wesenberg, the show's curator. "The expressionists think that this focus on just the surface is simply terrible and they paint what they feel, just what they feel."
The exhibition runs through Sept. 20. It is accompanied by a series of events focusing on the art and time period from both German and French perspectives, with concerts, readings and lectures.
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