Max Beckmann is widely acknowledged as one of Germany's leading twentieth-century artists. A figurative painter throughout his career, Beckmann depicted the world around him with an unparalleled intensity. His art emerges directly from his experiences of the First and Second World Wars, the political upheavals of the 1920s and 1930s, the rise of Nazism, exile in Amsterdam and his final emigration to the United States. By capturing the objects and events that surrounded him, Beckmann hoped to grasp the deeper mysteries underlying human existence. He perceived and painted the world as a vast stage, at once real and magical, upon which his own life and the traumas of contemporary history were closely intertwined.
"On My Painting" can give a valuable insight into understanding his work. It was composed in 1938 at a crucial juncture in Beckmann's life, just a year after he was included the Degenerate Art" exhibition in Nazi Germany. It was read by him at the opening of the Twentieth Century German Art" exhibition.
With an introduction by Mayen Beckmann, the artist's granddaughter, and an afterword by Sean Rainbird.