November 24, 2016 - Städel Museum - Battle of the Sexes
November 24, 2016

Städel Museum

Max Liebermann, Samson and Delilah, 1902. Oil on canvas, 151.2 x 212 cm. Courtesy Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK.

Battle of the Sexes
Franz von Stuck to Frida Kahlo
November 24, 2016–March 19, 2017

Städel Museum
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt am Main

T +49 69 6050980
F +49 69 605098111
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From November 24, 2016 to March 19, 2017, visitors to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt will have the opportunity to see a major exhibition that explores a timeless theme: the emotionally charged relationship between man and woman and its representation in art. Battle of the Sexes. Franz von Stuck to Frida Kahlo illuminates the artistic exploration of gender roles and gender relations from the mid-19th century to the end of the Second World War. Featuring over 150 works, the exhibition reveals just how controversial both male and female modern artists were in their reaction towards the construction of gender identities and bears witness to the ways they used painting, sculpture, graphic art, photography and film to tackle stereotypes and role models. Some used their work to confront their audiences with exaggerated gender traits or else sought to undermine stereotypical role models. Others attacked common clichés and aimed to deconstruct them via strategies such as irony, exaggeration, masquerade and hybridization. Gender distinctions—based upon traditional associations of male and female with categories such as active/passive, rational/emotional, culture/nature, state/family—became increasingly defined over the course of the 19th century, not only influencing economic, social and political structures, but also art.

The exhibition builds upon the Städel’s own collection of artworks with direct relevance to the show’s theme, including paintings by Max Liebermann, Edvard Munch, and Franz von Stuck, sculptures by Auguste Rodin, and photographs by Frank Eugene and Claude Cahun. Significant loans mean that famous names such as Hannah Höch, Édouard Manet, Gustav Klimt, Otto Dix and Frida Kahlo can be featured in meaningful juxtaposition with lesser-known artists, including works by Leonor Fini, John Collier, and Gustav Adolf Mossa. Works from the canon of modern art are thus complemented by similarly apposite, though somewhat neglected exhibits. The exhibition takes up the intense debates that have come to surround the respective roles played by women and men, offering nuanced insights into the complexity of this often problematic cultural issue, while highlighting the art-historical dimension of a socio-political theme that remains just as relevant in our own contemporary context.

The exhibition is funded by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and has received additional support from the Georg und Franziska Speyer’schen Hochschulstiftung.

Curators: Dr. Felix Krämer and Felicity Korn

Press contact: Alexandra Hahn: T (+49 69) 605098 234 / F (+49 69) 605098 188 / hahn [​at​]

Press material: click here

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