March 18, 2003 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art
March 18, 2003

Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art

Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art
27/03/2003 - 09/06/2003

60311 Frankfurt, Germany
phone: (+49-69) 29 98 82-0
fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240

Press preview: March 26, 2003, 11 a.m.

Image: Franz von Stuck,
“Dissonanz” (Disharmony), 1910, Oil on wood, 76,7 x 70 cm
Courtesy: Museum Villa Stuck, München

DIRECTOR: Max Hollein

CURATOR: Pamela Kort

OPENING HOURS: Tue, Fri–Sun 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wed and Thur 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.


The exhibition ”Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art” explores
a decisive development of 20th-century art linked to the grotesque in the German
speaking countries. The grotesque, which the artists of the Ancient
World were already interested in, constitutes a counterpoint in regard to the
world of truth and beauty and stands for the strange, the different
beyond all orders and boundaries. Full of insolent wit, the impact of the
grotesque as a new aesthetic approach gained momentum especially in the
German speaking countries towards the end of the 19th century. While the
grotesque has been acknowledged as a fundamental literary and dramatic
stylistic form for quite some time, the exhibition ”Grotesque! 130
Years of Witty Art” investigates its role in the fine arts for the first
time. The presentation takes Arnold Böcklin’s grotesquely comical
pictorial compositions from the end of the 19th century as its starting-point.
Based on this still controversial artistic personality’s work, the
exhibition outlines the emergence of ”a different modernity” with its
inherent subversive power and grotesque wit – a development spanning from
Max Klinger, Alfred Kubin, and Thomas Theodor Heine to Dada and contemporary
artistic positions such as those of Martin Kippenberger, Ulrike
Ottinger, Sigmar Polke, Franz West, or Christian Jankowski and John Bock, both of
whom are preparing new works for the show at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.

In addition,”Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art” focuses on
the relationship between the birth of the cabaret and the further
development of fine art in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – a context which
has hardly been taken into account so far. This perspective includes the
Munich cabaret ”Die Elf Scharfrichter” (The Eleven
Executioners), Karl Valentin’s grotesquely comical theater) as well as the Dadaist
”Cabaret Voltaire”.

The exhibition ”Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art” is a
cooperation between the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Haus der Kunst, Munich.
It will be shown in the Haus der Kunst in Munich from June 27 to September
14, 2003 after its presentation in Frankfurt from March 27 to June 9, 2003.

LIST OF ARTISTS: Hans Arp, Johannes Baargeld, John Bock, Arnold
Günter Brus, Lovis Corinth, Max Ernst, Lyonel Feininger, Fischli &
Weiss, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Raoul Hausmann, Thomas Theodor Heine,
Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando, Hannah Höch, Christian Jankowski, Martin
Kippenberger, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Alfred Kubin, Markus Lüpertz,
Jonathan Meese, Emil Nolde, Ulrike Ottinger, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf
Rainer, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm, Tomas Schmit, Paul Scheerbart, Rudolf
Schlichter, Georg Scholz, Eugen Schönebeck, Thomas Schütte, Kurt
Schwitters, Franz von Stuck, Karl Valentin, Franz West, a.o. (as of
March 2003).

CATALOGUE: ”Grotesque! 130 Years of Insolent Art.” Edited by
Pamela Kort. With a preface by Max Hollein and Chris Dercon and essays by Hanne
Bergius, Ralf Burmeister, Frances Connelly, Lisbeth Exner, Harald
Falckenberg, Michael Farin, Peter Jelavich, Pamela Kort, and Gregor
Wedekind. German, ca. 296 pages, ca. 170 color illustrations, ISBN
3-7913-2887-5 (hardcover trade edition), Prestel Verlag, Munich, Berlin,
London, New York.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
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