Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

December 9, 2005


60311 Frankfurt, Germany
phone: ( 49-69) 29 98 82-0
fax: ( 49-69) 29 98 82-240
welcome [​at​] schirn.de


In its current program the SCHIRN will be presenting monographic exhibitions devoted to the work of four great masters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It starts with James Ensor, whose bizarre and profound motifs were particularly influential on Expressionism and Surrealism. Another great precursor and model for artists like Henri Matisse was the French painter, draftsman, and mystic Odilon Redon, whose oeuvre the SCHIRN will be presenting in an extensive retrospective. Picasso and the Theater will reveal the interaction between the world of the stage and the towering geniuss art in more than eighty works. Focusing on a particular aspect of an oeuvre, the Max Beckmann exhibition will offer the first comprehensive showing of the watercolors and pastels of this great master of modernism.

In addition to these monographic shows, the SCHIRNs program will include a series of thematic exhibitions. Conquering the Streets explores the question of the connection between urban development and change of the individual through works of French Impressionism and German Expressionism. The exhibition I Like America addresses an entirely different theme: it examines the reasons behind Germanys enthusiastic reception of the American Wild West. The Youth of Today fathoms the current artistic interest in present-day youth culture, and Bazon Brock takes stock of his life from the perspective of his seventieth birthday under the title From Problem Child to Elderly Prodigy. Whereas the above-mentioned exhibitions offer a rich variety of material and information, two other projects, each in its own way, hold it back. Anonymous reveals neither artists nor curator. Nothing consists of stillness, emptiness, and silence.
Max Hollein, director


There is surely no artist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century whose oeuvre is as bizarre, ironic, profound, and as open to as many interpretations as that of the Belgian painter James Ensor. His paintings populated with masks, skeletons, and imaginary figures and his theatrically staged still lifes have become an unmistakable symbol for the absurdity of existence, influencing the German Expressionists just as much as the French Surrealists. Particularly when seen in terms of new trends in painting like the return to the figurative and narrative or manifestations of the grotesque and comic, Ensors creative work seems current once again. Approximately eighty thematically arranged masterpieces on canvas and an equal number of works on paper from various countries museums and private collections represent key works from all phases of his production. The exhibition is the first comprehensive retrospective of Ensors work to be shown in Germany since 1972. Curator: Ingrid Pfeiffer, Schirn

3 MARCH 28 MAY 2006

Max Beckmanns outstanding artistic production has been illuminated in numerous important exhibitions in recent decades. It is therefore all the more astonishing that Beckmann has yet to be assessed as a painter on paper. The SCHIRN presents more than a hundred watercolors and pastels, some of which are large formats, that offer the first opportunity to view together essential aspects of works that have been dispersed throughout the world. This major overview, for which the SCHIRN will publish the first catalogue raisonné of Beckmanns watercolors, will make it evident how important these works in a technique often described as ephemeral were for the artist. In contrast to the paintings, in which the problems of history and human existence are condensed, his watercolors show humor, legerity, and charming spontaneity, revealing a facet of this great master of modernism that has been little appreciated. Curator: Mayen Beckmann (Berlin) and Siegfried Gohr (Cologne)

7 APRIL 25 JUNE 2006

A growing emphasis on the media, individuality, and commercialism is producing a constantly increasing diversity of youth scenes. Girlies, greasers, hooligans, rappers, ravers, streetballers, train surfers, and wakeboarders are just some of these disparate artificial tribes to which young people today feel they belong. Whereas during the cold war of youth cultures one still had to decide between clear alternatives like punk or pop, young people today, as a rule, pass through a whole series of scenes. This exhibition shows how contemporary art confronts the various life worlds of teens, twens, and postadolescent thirtysomethings whose experience of youth culture often continues into their family lives and careers. This presentation of the works of sixty international artists such as the Young British Artist Tracey Emin, the newcomer Sue de Beer, or the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia will outline the influences of youth culture on the societys aesthetic and political realms. Curator: Matthias Ulrich, Schirn

15 JUNE 3 SEPT. 2006

Through the interplay of capitalist economy, growing urban populations, and the transformation of social structures, modern urban life emerged during the nineteenth century. In three chapters Urbanism, Commerce, and Politics the exhibition will treat, using the examples of Paris and Berlin, the connection between urban development and the transformation of individuals determined by it and relate the political concept of populism to modern urban development. Whereas French Impressionist painters like Maximilien Luce and Camille Pissarro owed their typical urban motifs to the Haussmannization of Paris streetscapes, in which boulevards and arcades provided frameworks for the movement of the crowds, German Expressionists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and George Grosz focused on the feeling of angst and fascination in the face of the citys monopolizing character. Concurrently with the SCHIRN exhibition, the Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg will be presenting shows on the common topic of art and democracy. Curator: Matthias Ulrich, Schirn, and Karin Sagner (Munich)

12 JULY 1 OCTOBER 2006

Stillness, emptiness, silence the pause, the gap, the omission are increasingly significant in todays society of images. Avant-garde artists of the 1960s and 1970s like John Baldessari and the Art & Language movement reacted with growing skepticism and evasive strategies to the possibility of depicting a reality whose complexity was becoming ever more difficult to grasp. Art is responding to the daily quantities of visual information by emptying the image. Today, Postminimalists and Neoconceptualists like Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Tom Friedman, and Martin Creed are transforming the experience of the void in ways that range from the poetic to the ironic in installations, paintings, and sculptures. Reduced effects and sensations result in a particular attention to things and phenomena that are not visible at first glance. The gaze into the void thus unveils the peripheral. The ephemeral and the latent unfold. What remains is a diverse, shimmering nothing. This exhibition will be filled with it. Curator: Martina Weinhart, Schirn

28 SEPTEMBER 2006 7 JANUARY 2007

In the 1820s a wave of enthusiasm for the American Wild West and its clichés of good and evil swept over Germany. It was fueled initially by James Fenimore Coopers Leatherstocking Tales, then by Karl Mays Winnetou novels, and finally by Buffalo Bills Wild West shows. This exhibition explores for the first time the motivations behind the German enthusiasm for the American West, including the extent to which the German understanding of images of cowboys and Indians was influenced by American visual culture. I Like America will present more than 150 paintings, films, photographs, and documentary material, including works by American and German artists such as George Catlin, Charles Wimar, Alfred Bierstadt, August Macke, and George Grosz in examining the vagaries of Wild West fiction vis-à-vis the facts. Curator: Pamela Kort (Berlin)

2 NOVEMBER 2006 14 JANUARY 2007

What happens in an exhibition when the artists remain unnamed? When the curator remains anonymous as well? When the artworks themselves raise the question of authorship, completely reject it, or liberate themselves from it? The initiators of the exhibition have declared: Anonymous exhibitions are necessary so that art may take up the path paved by dematerialist predecessors, that idea will take precedence over form. Critical thinking is a prerequisite here Anonymous art encompasses infinite possibilities. It yearns for a walk in the park in the dark. You can wear a golf hat and motorcycle boots at the same time. No one will be famous in the future. Whoever claims authorship is not the author. Curator: Anonymous

20 OCTOBER 2006 21 JANUARY 2007

Even in his early work, Picasso found a source of inspiration for his art in the theater. Of his many motifs from the world of traveling and popular theater, the figures of the commedia dellarte like the harlequin and Pierrot played a key role. These sad jokers become emotionally laden figures of identification for the modern artist. Picassos fascination with the theater is reflected not only in the motifs of countless paintings and drawings. With the ballet Parade in 1917, he began an intense period of collaboration with Diaghilevs Ballets Russes, for which Picasso designed his famous stage sets and costumes. Artistic engagement with the stage proved to be an extraordinarily fruitful field of experimentation for the universal artist Picasso, and it found expression in both his paintings and his sculptures. The exhibition shows more than eighty works from 1900 to 1930 that demonstrate how passionately Picasso was attached to the theater. Curator: Olivier Berggruen (New York)

26 JANUARY 29 APRIL 2007

Odilon Redon was one of the central figures of French Symbolist art. In his charcoal drawings and lithographs from the age of the Impressionists, Redon devoted himself to the human subconscious, with its fears and nightmares, and produced an urgent and almost eerie body of work. In pastels and paintings around the end of the nineteenth century Redon developed his characteristically intense palette. His figures and objects taken from the worlds of antiquity and Christianity or from nature are usually veiled in iridescent clouds of color, and their effect is enigmatic and mystical. With more than 150 works, the exhibition attempts to underline Redons central importance for an emergent modernism. Much admired by Cézanne, Degas, and Matisse, he influenced artists as different as Duchamp, the Surrealists, and even Jasper Johns. Curator: Margret Stuffmann (Frankfurt)

15 FEBRUARY 20 MAY 2007

In the early 1960s, visual artists set their sights on vision. Op Art and kinetic art produced an art with an intense interest in the objective and in scientific experiment. Fascinated by the physical laws of light and optics, it was devoted to exploring visual phenomena and principles of perception. Probing the possibilities for deceiving the eye, artists like Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, François Morellet, Julio Le Parc, and Gianni Colombo deliberately sought visual disturbances. In large-format paintings, objects, and environments, they nevertheless caused more than the viewers eye to move. The interaction between the work and the observer a central topos for present-day art culminated in installations that not only produced physical effects in the form of afterimages, color vibrations, or flickering light but also had sweeping effects on consciousness as a whole. After Op art works have partly been dismissed as simple variations on optical phenomena, this exhibition will reveal the complexity and lasting influence of its protagonists works. Curator: Martina Weinhart, Schirn

OPENING HOURS: Tue, FriSun 10 a.m.7 p.m., Wed and Thur 10 a.m.10 p.m. INFORMATION: www.schirn.de

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
December 9, 2005

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