Loerke's Alter Ego


After our "Women in Love" discussion in class about Loerke as a possible representation of the German Expressionist Art movement I immediately thought of artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Kirchner's work was loathed by anti-Semites and much of the art world because of its bold colors, abstracted forms, and risque subject matter. His work was labeled "degenerate" in 1933 by the Nazis. Soon after hundreds of his works were destroyed and five years later he committed suicide from a wild depression. Many of the other members of the German Expressionist group Die Brucke (The Bridge) suffered the same fate, as the beginnings of World War II made successful careers impossible. Here is a picture of Kirchner's early work "Marcella" from 1909-10, which reminded me of Loerke's nude girl on a horse. Ursula and Lawrence would probably find this painting erotic, stiff, and offensive. The young girl Marcella was actually a child model of the controversial Kirchner, their relationship leaves much to the imagination as members of the Die Brucke movement often had young models. The girl, according to recent findings is probably 14 or 15 in this painting. We can imagine Loerke's work of the nude girl on a horse to be similar in content. It's fascinating to see how characters from "Women In Love" are connected to the larger world.