30.03.1963 – 12.05.1963
During the Third Reich, Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919) belonged to the group of artists banned by the National Socialists, and his sculpture "The Kneeling Woman" (1911) was featured in the "Degenerate Art" exhibition. After the war, at the first documenta in Kassel in 1955, this work was hailed as a symbol of modernity. In 1962, Haus der Kunst, in cooperation with the Bavarian State Painting Collections in Munich, dedicated a retrospective to the artist's oeuvre. 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.
After studying at the Düsseldorf Academy, from which the miner's son from Duisburg graduated in 1908 as a master student of Karl Janssen, Lehmbruck lived in Paris from 1910 to 1914. He associated with artists such as Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, and André Derain and the sculptors Constantine Brancusi and Alexander Archipenko, who inspired his work. "The Kneeling Woman" marks Lehmbruck's artistic breakthrough and, with its new dimensions, introduced a turning point in the German sculpture. The stretched proportions accompanied a movement motif that assumes a symbolic character in the graceful gesture of the hand.
At the same time, the artist, whose main subject both as a sculptor and as a painter was the human figure, completes a development that initially bespeaks the influence of Aristide Maillol ("Standing Woman", 1910) in its contemplation of the intrinsic value of the plastic form, unity of the outlines, and simplicity of expression. The towering sculpture of the introspective "Head of a Thinker" (1913/14) and the concentrated force of "Standing Youth" (1913), in contrast, testify to strong emotional movement. They reveal Lehmbruck's goal, as quoted in the catalogue's preface, to make art that is "... full of intensity, full of warmth, full of depth, [with] nothing empty."
In his later work, the transition from figurative sculpture to spatial sculpture is complete and an abstract visual language gains importance. Simultaneously, the search for symbolic expression, as evident in the depiction of "The Turned" (1915/16), reaches its peak. During World War I and already afflicted by a deep melancholy, Lehmbruck – with his portrayal of a man crouching on all fours – created a symbol of the defeated and failed man, without robbing him of his dignity. In the few years of his artistic development until his suicide in 1919, the sculptor succeeded in going from a naturalistic to a mature artistic style; his sculptures are considered metaphors for grief, loneliness, and brokenness, and as the culmination of Expressionism and epitome of the humane.
In cooperation with the Bavarian State Painting Collections in Munich.
The 44-page softbound catalogue includes 22 pages of text and 43 pages of black-and-white illustrations. The cover bears the exhibition's name "Lehmbruck" and a depiction of the bust of "The Kneeling Woman" (1911). An essay on the artist by Herbert von Einem is complemented by a short artist bio, followed by a brief annotated list of works, divided into sculptures, paintings, drawings, and pastels, etchings and lithographs; 191 works are listed. A list of exhibitions 1914–1961 dedicated to the artist and a bibliography complete the text section.
Stretch your view
Stretch your view
The 1930s. Setting: Germany
11.02 – 17.04.77
Golo Mann praised the exhibition of German painting, sculpture, and decorative arts in the 1930s as a bold undertaking, for this period had previously been taboo. MORE
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
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
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
Emil Nolde — Memorial exhibition
One year after Emil Nolde's death, this exhibition commemorated the artist (1867–1956) with approximately 550 works. MORE
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
Wounds of Memory
06.05 – 28.05.95
With "Wounds of Memory", organized on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation from Nazi dictatorship, Haus der Kunst wanted to draw attention to the war's horrific banality. MORE
Expressionists. The Buchheim Collection
29.07 – 18.10.98
In the center of the exhibition are works by the great Expressionists, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Max Pechstein. MORE
Haus der Kunst, Munich. A Place and Its History in National Socialism
Allitera Verlag Munich, 2015. Published by Haus der Kunst. MORE
Through the artist's death just months before the exhibition opened, the retrospective of works by Georges Braque achieved special relevance and was rated "agréée" by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). MORE
History of the air-raid shelter in Haus der Kunst
Text on the history of the former air-raid shelter in Haus der Kunst by Munich historian Sabine Brantl. MORE
Art in the "Third Reich": Hitler's 'Brush Worker'
SPIEGEL ONLINE article on Adolf Ziegler, painter and president of the Reich's Chamber of Visual Arts, whose painting "The Four Elements" was on view in the exhibition "Histories in Conflict" MORE
Histories in Conflict
The illustrated online tour guides you through the six stations of the exhibition "Histories in Conflict", which takes a critical look at Haus der Kunst's historical heritage. MORE
Works of European sculpture
The exhibition focused not only on sculpture as an art form, but also on its interpretation by European artists. MORE
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
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
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
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
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
The Confiscation of "Degenerate Art" 1937–38
Database on all works of “degenerate art” confiscated from German museums in 1937/38. Project by the Freie Universität Berlin MORE