In 1920, Felixmller was awarded the Schsischer Staatlicher Rompreis (Saxony State Travel Award) for his picture Schwangere im Herbstwald (Pregnant woman in a forest in autumnal forest). The prize would have enabled him to go on a study-trip to Rome, staying in the Villa Massimo for two years, but instead Felixmller preferred to go to the industrial Ruhr valley in Westphalia, where his brother was working as a mining engineer. The artist's position mirrors his political stance, his belief in the worker and proletarian as a symbol of progress, as far as society was concerned. Between 1920 and 1922 Felixmller executed a celebrated series of paintings, drawings and prints depicting this subject. He recalled: "Mein 1918 gemaltes Bild Schwangere im Herbstwald ... brachte mir 1919 den Schsischen Staatlichen Rompreis. Mich lockten die Sttten der grandiosen Industrien, die Kohlenbergwerke, das Ruhrrevier, und so fuhr ich nicht nach Rom." (Ulrich Krempel, ed., Conrad Felixmller, die Dresdner Jahre 1910-1934, Cologne 1997).
Around 1920 Felixmller was also playing a vital role in the Dresdner Neue Sezession Gruppe 1919 of which Otto Dix was also a member. Stephanie Barron points out that, born in 1897, Felixmller was considered something of a Wunderkind, and was already well known at the age of twenty. Sternheim called him 'Fortunate Mller'. (Stephanie Barron, German Expressionism, 1915-1925, The Second Generation, Los Angeles 1988, p. 60). The writer Carl Sternheim, with whom Felixmller developed a close friendship, came to Dresden in 1921. Sternheim commented on Felixmller's art in 1923: "Just as van Gogh ripped the aesthetic mask from every landscape and revealed a nature - of tree, flower, water, sky, moon and earth - that had vanished from the bourgeois world, so this Mller has unmasked the contemporary human face, and in his pictures the proletarian whom the bourgeoisie long smothered in a conspiracy of silence appears for the first time." (Stephanie Barron, German Expressionism, 1915-1925, The Second Generation, Los Angeles 1988, p. 60).
The second generation of Expressionists, as well as the first, had symphathy for the poor and were attracted by the urban landscape. In Herbstabend, Klotzsche Felixmller uses Klotzsche, the suburb of Dresden where he was living at the time, as a stage for his depiction of a worker on his way home from the factory in the evening. Klotzsche unfolds itself in the suburban panorama behind the man in the foreground. The very atmosphere of the industrialised city seems to be represented by this worker who is eager to get home. The picture is so clearly composed that the worker seems almost to step out of the picture on the left hand side. The fact that few paintings from that period survive makes Herbstabend, Klotzsche, which is part of the series of his "blue pictures", even more significant. As early as 1922, this painting was exhibited at the Kunstgenossenschaft Dresden. Many pictures from that date are lost, because they were destroyed in 1933 by Felixmller himself.