Die Brücke artists spent their free time in the cabarets and music halls of Germany. Artists have gravitated toward these kinds of venues since the late nineteenth century. The new music, the movement, and the bright colors of the dancers became inspiration for some of the world’s most well-known works. The motion of performance creates dynamic compositions and elicits an authentic reaction and participation from the audience. Contemporary prints also have a strong connection to music, sometimes even being used as posters and advertisements for performances and bands.
The prints above epitomize the flamboyance and soul of a musical performance, showing also the cult following of many musicians (in this case of John Coltrane). The power of these images lies in the expression of forms and in the bursts of color emanating from and enveloping the ﬁgures like music itself. The religious aspects of these pieces hearken back to traditional medieval German prints and to Die Brücke’s interest in religious imagery. Yet they are completely of their time. The prints uphold the transgressive properties of music and the spiritual aspect of melody and performance outside of the realm of religion.
The graphic and reproductive natures of relief prints also lend themselves perfectly to posters for rock and roll performances, further linking the interdependence of these two art forms.