Max Beckmann (1884-1950) left his native Germany in 1937, the day after the Nazis opened their infamous "Degenerate Art" exhibition, in which as many as 20 of the artist's works were shown. Never to return home, he spent 10 productive years in Amsterdam before leaving for the United States, where he went on to create some of the most powerful works of his career.The catalogue to an exhibition of Beckmann's work on view from October 9, 1996 to January 5, 1997, at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo — the first at an American museum in over a decade — this book explores, in essays and color reproductions, the artist's fruitful years in exile.

Art historian Barbara Stehle-Akhtar discusses the critical reception of Beckmann's work in the United States and its stylistic development during this period. Scholar Reinhard Spieler probes Beckmann's nine completed triptychs, his sweeping masterpieces that express both the mood of the times and the artist's own worldview. Fellow emigre Stephan Lackner provides a reminiscence of his friendship with and support of Beckmann. Completing the volume are a personal interpretation by contemporary artist Eric Fischl of Beckmann's first trip-tych, Departure, as well as writings by Beckmann that eloquently convey his thoughts on aesthetics and creativity.