Cambridge Varsity on Expressionism.
The turbulent paintings could be explained by the tumultuous times. When World War I broke out, most of the Expressionists were still young men, becoming old men under the oppressive weight of World War II. They used art to express the outrage of era of history riddled with economic and social unrest. The movement attributes part of its formation to a century’s worth of ideological movement and fluctuation - figures like Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Ibsen, Strondberg, Nietzsche and Marx generated an evolution of “intellectual violence” which appealed to the young Expressionists searching for individuality.
Expressionism flourished in Germany under the Weimar Republic, but then experienced suppression from the Nazis, who found the style degenerate and unsuitable under the Third Reich.
Strondberg? Heidegger influenced Expressionism? Then it wasn't mutual. Expressionism is the inner self pushing out into the world.
Miguel de Beistegui wrote:
It is true that, for a philosopher who is granting art with such a historical power, Heidegger does not say very much about the art of his time, about the many forms and movements that sprang in the twentieth century, from Cubism to abstract Expressionism through Surrealism, German Expressionism and Minimalism, to name but a few. We should beware, however, of the haste with which art critics — and sometimes artists themselves — coin 'isms' and labels, identify schools and filiations. We should wonder whether anything thoughtful was ever achieved by labelling a work 'expressionist', or a philosophy 'realist', for example, and whether, in doing so, we don’t close off the very possibility of thinking through what's at issue in these works, instead of opening them up, and opening ourselves to them.