Expressionism is an art and cultural movement of the 20th century. Expressionist artists try to express a feeling with what they create. Colours and shapes are not used in a way people see them, but as the artist feels them.
Expressionism presents the world as subjective: how the artist feels it, not how it is scientifically. The art looks to get an emotional effect, and transmits personal moods and ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of "being alive" and emotional experience rather than physical reality.
Expressionism is exhibited in many art forms, including: painting, literature, theatre, dance, film, architecture and music. The term often implies emotional angst. In a general sense, painters such El Greco could be called expressionist; in practice, the term is applied only to 20th century works.
Typical modern expressionists are Edvard Munch (The Scream), August Macke, Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Marc Chagall, and others. The First World War, with the many young men who died, left deep impressions on artists' minds.
Expressionism Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.