IN the first half of the 20th century, German art was crushed and twisted by two wars and artistically ignorant totalitarianism. Some of Germany's artists succumbed to Hitler's demands, some lost their lives or their minds, many fled to the rest of Europe and the U.S. Today German art is rising out of its ruins, and bringing with it new appreciation of the fact that Germany played a major role in developing what is now the dominant artistic mood: expressionism.

The German resurgence is coming to a peak in the U.S. this fall. In...

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