Victor Vasarely. In the Labyrinth of Modernism
26 September 2018 to 13 January 2019
Until 13 January 2019, the Städel Museum shows the special exhibition “Victor Vasarely. In the Labyrinth of Modernism”. The retrospective presents the founder of the op art of the 1960s with more than one hundred works. Victor Vasarely’s (1906–1997) oeuvre, however, spans more than sixty years and makes use of the most diverse styles and influences: Key works of all phases of his production trace the development of the once-in-a century artist. Often reduced to his op art, the artist forged a bridge between the early modernism of Eastern and Central Europe and the avant-gardes of the Swinging Sixties in the West. He drew on traditional media and genres throughout his career, incorporating the multiple, mass production, and architecture into his complex work in the 1950s. The wide-ranging retrospective understands itself as a rediscovery of a crucial twentieth-century artist who reflects modernism in all its complexity like no other.
“Victor Vasarely. In the Labyrinth of Modernism” was prepared in close collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which will present the exhibition “Vasarely, le partage des forms” from February 2019.
Curators: Dr Martin Engler (Städel Museum), Dr Jana Baumann
With support from: the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States
Supporter of contemporary art at the Städel Museum: Deutsche Bank AG
Lotte Laserstein. Face to Face
19 September 2018 to 17 March 2019
Until 17 March 2019, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main presents a comprehensive solo exhibition with works by the painter Lotte Laserstein (1898–1993). Laserstein’s oeuvre is one of the great recent art historical rediscoveries and features sensitive and compelling portraits from the final years of the Weimar Republic. The exhibition builds upon works from the collection of the Städel Museum, which in the past few years was successful in acquiring important works by the artist, including the paintings Russian Girl with Compact from 1928 and Boy with Kasper Puppet (Wolfgang Karger) from 1933. With approximately forty paintings and drawings, the exhibition focusses on Laserstein’s artistic development. Emphasis is placed on works from the 1920s and 30s, which mark the peak of her artistic work. “Lotte Laserstein. Face to Face” is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Germany outside of Berlin.
After its launch at the Städel Museum, the exhibition will travel to the Berlinische Galerie, where it will be on show from April 2019. There it will be complemented with, among others, works created by Lotte Laserstein while in exile.
Curators: Dr Alexander Eiling (Städel Museum), Elena Schroll (Städel Museum)
With support from: Ernst Max von Grunelius-Stiftung, Rudolf-August Oetker-Stiftung, Friede Springer Stiftung.
With additional support from: the city of Frankfurt am Main
Titian and the Renaissance in Venice
13 February to 26 May 2019
In the spring of 2019, the Städel Museum will devote itself to one of the most momentous chapters in the history of European art: Venetian Renaissance painting. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the artists of the lagoon city – first and foremost the young Titian (ca. 1488/90–1576) – developed an independent strain of the Renaissance relying on purely painterly means and the impact of light and colour. This new approach caused a sensation in Venice, and its exponents were soon spreading the innovations outside the city republic as well. In the 1540s, yet another highly talented young generation – now embodied by Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese – came on the scene to vie for commissions in Venice.
In its various sections the exhibition introduces selected characteristic aspects of Venetian painting from the sixteenth century – for example the atmospherically charged landscape depictions that heralded landscape painting as a genre in its own right, the ideal likenesses of beautiful women (Belle Donne), or the importance of colour for the art of the Venetians. With more than a hundred masterworks from international collections, the show is the first in Germany to present a first-rate, thematically structured panorama of Venetian Renaissance painting. The large-scale exhibition features more than twenty examples by Titian alone – the figure who held the key position in the Venetian art scene all his life – and thus the most extensive selection of his works ever before on display in Germany. It also presents works by Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435–1516), Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1479/80–1528), Sebastiano del Piombo (ca. 1485–1547), Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1480–1556/57), Jacopo Tintoretto (ca. 1518/19–1594) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588). The exhibition offers comprehensive insights into the artistic and thematic spectrum of the Renaissance in Venice and elucidates why so many widely differing artists of later centuries looked back to works of this period again and again for orientation.
Curator: Dr Bastian Eclercy (Städel Museum)
With support from: Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain gGmbH
Picasso. Printmaking as Experiment (working title)
3 April to 30 June 2019
Exhibition hall of the Department of Prints and Drawings
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was the quintessential modern artistic genius. With untiring imaginativeness and creative energy – and apparent ease –, he availed himself of all genres, techniques and materials, frequently treading uncharted paths in the process. Starting on 3 April 2019, the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings will shed light on the pleasure Picasso took in artistic invention as illustrated by works in the printmaking medium. Whether etching, drypoint, lithography or linocut, with unceasing curiosity and consistent mastery the artist acquired every printmaking technique and, in ever-new, ever-experimental ways, investigated what he found in them.
In a selection of some sixty works from the collection of the Städel’s Department of Prints and Drawings, the exhibition will provide insights into the kaleidoscope of Picasso’s printmaking oeuvre and explore his innovative handling of relief, intaglio and planographic printing from his early Paris years to his late work.
Curator: Dr Theresa Nisters (Städel Museum)
The Graduates of the Städelschule
20 June to 14 July 2019
Exhibition house, ground floor
In 2019, the graduates’ exhibition of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule – will once again take place at the Städel Museum. The presentation in the exhibition annex will offer well-founded insights into the multifaceted production of the young artists emerging from Frankfurt’s internationally renowned art academy.
The Mysteries of Material. Kirchner, Heckel and Schmidt-Rottluff (working title)
26 June to 13 October 2019
Exhibition house, first floor
In a special exhibition starting in the summer of 2019, the Städel Museum will explore the reciprocal relationships between woodcut and wooden sculpture in the oeuvres of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938), Erich Heckel (1883–1970) and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884–1976). The show’s starting point is wood, which is more closely bound to the art of German Expressionism than any other material. What appealed to the artists especially about wood was its unevenness and grain, but also its differing hues and degrees of hardness.
After Kirchner, Heckel and Schmidt-Rottluff together formed the “Brücke” artists’ association in Dresden in 1905, the woodcut became one of their most important artistic mediums. Until well into the 1920s/’30s, their specific mode of expression and the pleasure they took in experimentation were particularly evident in the works executed in this printing technique. What is more, at around the time of their first woodcuts and in close connection to them, the three artists also carved reliefs, nude figures and heads in wood that influenced their woodcuts with regard to both form and content – and vice versa.
Showcasing some ninety woodcuts, five woodcut blocks and a series of sculptures, the exhibition will explore the artists’ special approach to the printing technique and the handling of the material. The Städel will be able to draw on its own holdings – the collection of the Frankfurt art patron Carl Hagemann – for a large proportion of the works.
Curator: Dr Regina Freyberger (Städel Museum)
Making Van Gogh. A German Love Story
23 October 2019 to 16 February 2020
From 23 October 2019 to 16 February 2020, the Städel Museum will present a comprehensive exhibition on Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). The extensive show will revolve around the special significance of German gallery owners, collectors, critics and museums for the success story of this precursor of modern painting, while also illuminating his role as a decisive figure for the art of German Expressionism. It will feature some 140 paintings and works on paper, including around 50 of the artist’s key works.
The exhibition is the first ever to take an in-depth look at Van Gogh’s œuvre in the context of its reception in Germany. Its point of departure is a selection of major works from all phases of the Dutch painter’s career. Building on that foundation, the presentation will be devoted to Van Gogh’s significance for the development of German art at the beginning of the twentieth century. Here an important reference point will be the Städel’s extensive collection of Expressionist works. Alongside well-known examples by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter and Max Beckmann, the show will also feature artists meriting rediscovery – and on whom Van Gogh had an equally formative influence –, for example Peter August Böckstiegel, Maria Slavona or Heinrich Nauen.
The Städel will present outstanding works from collections in Germany and abroad, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in Munich, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in Prague and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Among the highlights will be the self-portraits from the Art Institute in Chicago and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, but also the famous paintings Augustine Roulin (Rocking a Cradle) (1889, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam) and Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).
Curators: Dr Alexander Eiling (Städel Museum), Dr Felix Krämer (Kunstpalast Düsseldorf)
Supported by: Franz Dieter und Michaela Kaldewei Kulturstiftung, Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
With additional support from: The City of Frankfurt am Main
Great Realism & Great Abstraction. Drawings from Max Beckmann to Gerhard Richter (working title)
13 November 2019 to 16 February 2020
Exhibition house, first floor
Great realism, great abstraction – the approximately 1,800, twentieth-century German drawings in the collection of the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings occupy a realm between these two poles. In the winter of 2019/2020, the museum will show a representative selection of some 100 works mirroring the emphases of the collection that have taken shape over the course of its long history.
Drawings by Max Beckmann (1884–1950) and the “Brücke” artists – first and foremost Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938) – will form the prelude. They developed a pictorial language that, varying between the near-representational and the abstract, carried over into the works of artists who devoted themselves to figurative and abstract tendencies in divided post-war Germany. These include exponents of Informel, Neoexpressionist currents and Pop Art, among them Karl Otto Götz (1914–2017), Joseph Beuys (1921–1986), Georg Baselitz (1938), Gerhard Richter (1932) and Sigmar Polke (1941–2010).
Drawing served the artists as a means of immediate expression, whether in the trenches of World War I, the boulevards of the awakening metropolis of Berlin or in the midst of the emerging world of consumption and commodities. In this medium, they constructed idealistic life plans, rebelled against established traditions in politics and society, or reflected on decisive events in German history. Because it was the respective context that determined the technique, the works on view will range from simple pencil sketches and miniature-like chalk drawings to vivid pastels and watercolours and even monumental collages.
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be the first ever to investigate the Städel Museum’s collection of twentieth-century German drawings on the basis of selected examples.
Curator: Dr Jenny Graser (Städel Museum)
With support from: Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck Frankfurt am Main
Exhibition titles and dates subject to change