Works of European sculpture

EXHIBITION 01.11.1950 – 24.12.1950

The exhibition "Works of European Sculpture" focused not only on sculpture as an art form, but also on its interpretation by European artists. According to the show's organizer, Ausstellungsleitung München e. V. Haus der Kunst, four sculptors were responsible for its realization: Toni Stadler, Georg Brenninger, Josef Wackerle, and Theodor Georgii. Its short preface (in English, French, and Italian) emphasized the claim to internationalism that accompanied the dawn of modernity. In 1950, people associated the long-awaited expansion of the regional horizon with the wish: "May the sculptures [presented here] from various regions of sculptural understanding not be antagonistic but, rather, demonstrate an internal relationship through their quality."

The exhibition brought together 70 predominately bronze sculptures by famous sculptors in Germany and neighboring countries. These works were supplemented by individual drawings, which were on loan from the Bavarian State Painting Collections and from German and international museums, galleries, and private collections. The selection of works was preceded by an ancient grave relief from the Munich Glyptothek, "Hunter with Dog" (around 360 BC), which reflected an exhibition concept that understood contemporary sculptural forms as the continuation of a tradition rooted in antiquity. The works demonstrated a commitment to Realism, with the main motifs being the human figure and animals.

While Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Little Venus" introduced – in the Impressionist style – the play of light and shadow, in "Crouching Woman" (1880/82) his contemporary Auguste Rodin combined the academic heritage of the nineteenth century with an emotionally expressive dynamic that characterized him as a pioneer of modernism. A series of ten works by Aristide Maillol, including the "Great Venus", testified to the fact that the artist had refined the classic mythological figure to a simplifying abstraction. This abstraction was far advanced in the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck, five of whose sculptures were on display, as demonstrated in his version of "Girl's Torso, Turning" (1913/14), on loan from the artist's family. The small bronze by Henri Matisse, executed around the same time, was less preoccupied with capturing the rendition of a reclining naked woman's body as seen by the artist than with the intrinsic value of the sculptural volumes. With the works of Ernst Barlach ("Russian Beggar Woman", 1907), Bernhard Heiliger, and Gerhard Marcks, human images were again shown in Haus der Kunst, which, because of their formal abstraction and their symbolic excessive expressivity, had long been considered "degenerate". 

In 1950, some of the artists represented in the exhibition were, as contemporary sculptors, members of the postwar avant-garde art scene in Germany and whose fame was only to be solidified in the following years. The Italian Marino Marini, with his work "Rider", and the Englishman Henry Moore, with several versions of his famous "Reclining" sculptures, exemplified the break with ancient tradition and the fragility of human existence through the fall of the rider and the hollowing out of the figure. In contrast, the works of the show's co-organizers and sculptors George Brenninger, Josef Wackerle, and Toni Stadler, who was represented with the animal sculpture "Dog" (1935), were mainly of regional importance. By omitting works of object art, Surrealism, Cubism, Abstraction, and other movements, the exhibition "Works of European Sculpture" describes the broad arch spanning the development of sculpture, from the late nineteenth century to modernism and ending with the early days of postmodernism. The show demonstrated a moderate-modernist understanding of art that, nonetheless, drew attention to the seminal impulses emanating from various major European artists.

In addition to the curators' short preface, printed in English, French, and Italian, the 35-page, A5-format catalogue contained 24 black and white photographs of the nearly 70 sculptural works presented in the exhibition. The specifications of the images, as well as the list of works, were limited to the artists' names and the titles of the works.

The exhibition presented works by Ernst Barlach, Otto Bänninger, Bernhard Bleeker, Hermann Blumenthal, George Brenninger Despiau, Alexander Fischer, Marcel Gimond, Hermann Hahn, Hermann Haller, Philipp Harth, Bernhard Heiliger, Adolf von Hildebrand, Anton Hiller, Ludwig Kasper Heinrich Kirchner, Richard Knecht, Moissey Kogan, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Aristide Maillol, Giacomo Manzú, Gerhard Marcks, Marino Marini, Priscilla Martin, Ewald Mataré, Henri Matisse, Hans Mettl, Henry Moore, George Muller, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Edwin Sharp, Toni Stadler, Joseph Wackerle, Hans Wimmer, and Fritz Wrampe.

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure I, 1951, Sprengel Museum Hannover © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 1950 / bpk Bildagentur, photo Michael Herling, Aline Gwose

Stretch your view


Stretch your view


EXHIBITION

Vincent van Gogh 1853–1890

In 1956 Haus der Kunst dedicated a retrospective with 166 works to Vincent van Gogh, one of the most popular painters in Germany and a pioneer of Modernism. MORE


EXHIBITION

Paul Cézanne 1839–1906

The fiftieth anniversary of Cezanne's death in 1956 was an opportunity to honor this great French painter by staging a retrospective and to thus continue the exhibition series focusing on pioneering modern artists. MORE


EXHIBITION

Bauhaus painters

The exhibition, which included 276 paintings, drawings, watercolors, and graphic works, shifted its focus toward painters who had been master teachers at the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1933. MORE


Goethe-Institut Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haus der Kunst

The program was inaugurated in August 2013 and awards each fellowship for one academic year. The fifth fellowship is to start in August 2017. MORE


Conference

"Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965"

21.05 – 24.05.14

Convened at Haus der Kunst in collaboration with the Tate Modern in 21-24 May, 2014, the "Postwar — Art between the Pacific and Atlantic, 1945-1965" conference is an attempt to reconsider and re-examine the two decades following World War II. MORE


EXHIBITION

Degenerate Art — The Iconoclasm 25 Years Ago

The exhibition commemorated the defamatory "Degenerate Art" exhibition, which was ordered by Adolf Hitler and took place at the same time as the lavish launch of the "House of German Art" in 1937. MORE


EXHIBITION

Picasso 1900–1955

In 1955, for the first time after World War II, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris dedicated a retrospective to the work of the acclaimed and outstanding Spanish artist and personality Pablo Picasso. MORE


EXHIBITION

Emil Nolde — Memorial exhibition

One year after Emil Nolde's death, this exhibition commemorated the artist (1867–1956) with approximately 550 works. MORE


EXHIBITION

Wilhelm Lehmbruck

The exhibition focused on 46 sculptures, but also draw the viewer's attention to a number of various paintings, drawings, and graphic works, thereby revealing a largely unknown aspect of the artist's body of work. MORE


EXHIBITION

Graham Sutherland

A few years after its exhibition of works by English sculptor Henry Moore, Haus der Kunst again paid tribute to a contemporary artist from England, this time to the painter Graham Sutherland. MORE


EXHIBITION

Max Beckmann

Haus der Kunst honored Max Beckmann (1884–1950) as one of the greatest twentieth-century German painters with a 1968 retrospective of his work. MORE


EXHIBITION

Joan Miró

With 238 objects including 118 paintings, a variety of gouaches, collages, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and illustrated books, the exhibition outlined the stages of Miró's 50-year career to date. MORE


EXHIBITION

Aristide Maillol

On the occasion of the 200th birthday of Aristide Maillol, the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris presented an exhibition of 180 works of sculpture, painting, graphics, and craft by the acclaimed artist. MORE


EXHIBITION

Edvard Munch

With an extensive retrospective organized in cooperation with the National Gallery in Oslo, the Bavarian State Painting Collections honored the great Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863–1944). MORE


EXHIBITION

Modern French painting

Two years after World War II, the exhibition "Modern French Painting", organized by the French Ministry of Culture and staged in Haus der Kunst, gave the Germans the opportunity to renounce their resentment against the former enemy, which Hitler had encouraged. MORE


EXHIBITION

European Expressionism

07.03 – 10.05.70

The aim of the exhibition, which presented approximately 300 oil paintings and prints, was "to trace this sense of life and its effects on certain phases of European art in our century." MORE


EXHIBITION

Lyonel Feininger 1871–1956

24.03 – 13.05.73

With approximately 100 paintings, the exhibition provided an artistic cross-section of all of Feininger's work phases. MORE


EXHIBITION

Ways to abstractions

12.08 – 09.10.88

The collection of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza served as the basis of the exhibition in Munich and Luxembourg. Instead of the repeated presentation of famous Old Masters works, now the focus is on "80 masterpieces" of classical modernism with which "Paths of Abstraction" are illustrated. MORE


Permanent Exhibition

Archive Gallery 2017/18

18.07.17 – 04.02.18

The focus is the summer of 1937 in Munich, when the new Haus der Deutschen Kunst opened with the first "Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung", and the vilified show "Entartete Kunst" [Degenerate Art] was presented concurrently in the gallery building in the nearby Hofgarten MORE


EXHIBITION

Elan Vital, or the Erotic Eye

– 14.08.94

As a reflection of the concept of life as a unified yet ramified flow, the exhibition thematically explores the phenomenon of organic abstraction in Kandinsky, Klee, Arp, Miró, and Calder from 1920 to 1945. MORE