The term Expressionism is used to describe an art that tends to place emotion, the personal viewpoint and a distorted depiction of the world above reason, balance and an objective view of the world. Although it is often associated with Germany, expressive art was a widespread phenomenon in the early years of the twentieth century.
The use of strong colour for expressive and decorative effect was first developed in post-impressionist art in France by artists such as Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. It was then quickly taken up by a group of artists known as the Fauves (the Wild Beasts) in France, the Colourists in Scotland, the Expressionists in German and the avant garde in Russia. By bringing together works here made by artists across Europe, we hope to show how artistic ideas were spreading, as ‘Modernism’ was being taken up by more and more artists.
Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Japanisches Theater [Japanese Theatre] 1909
Find out more
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.
Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.
Browse what's on at the galleries below, or filter results to narrow your search.