Figures on a Busy Street
Bequest of Fred Ebb
"I must draw at speeds close to racing, just draw," Kirchner wrote. "Then after a time select what is good." The execution of this watercolor inspired by Berlin's streets conveys the fast pace and transience of modern urban life. All the faceless figures look alike. Although the swift strokes of the pen and free handling of watercolors preserve the spontaneity of a drawing made from life, the careful arrangement of the groups of figures and cars at this busy intersection suggests a planned composition rather than a quick recording of visual impressions.