German Expressionism hits the North Woods

Seen on a well-used National Forest outhouse at a ski trailhead in Ely:

This well-weathered man reminded me of the woodblock prints of the German Expressionist, like this one from Max Kaus.

When we arrived in Ely for our winter break, the woods were full of snow, but it was a crusty, angular, and shall we say depressing snow. Like the angular cuts in those woodblocks. Actually, there was a lot of German expressionism during our week up in the Ely woods.

Like my older son, in his first year of German, teaching his younger brother how to insult someone in that great language (“No, no, no, it’s ‘dein-e‘ Mutter, not ‘dein‘ Mutter!”)

Or when the old German scholar himself whoops it up sledding down the steps of the snowy cabin. Ach du lieber! Was für einen Rutsch!

When my 75% deutschstämmig wife expresses herself, is that German Expressionism? 

What if she takes the express route right down a moody Boundary Waters lake? I think I’ve seen this scene in a Ernst Kirchner print.

Der viele, viele Schnee


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