"GREAT REALISM & GREAT ABSTRACTION"

13 November 2019 to 16 February 2020

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Press texts

WALL TEXTS

Download the complete wall texts for the exhibition "Great Realism & Great Abstraction" here.

PRESS RELEASE

"GREAT REALISM & GREAT ABSTRACTION"
DRAWINGS FROM MAX BECKMANN TO GERHARD RICHTER

13 NOVEMBER 2019 TO 16 FEBRUARY 2020

"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.

With support from Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck Frankfurt am Main

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Press images

Gerhard Richter (*1932)
Untitled, 02.11.1989
Lead pencil on white cardboard
210 × 297 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (27092019)
Photo: © Städel Museum

Gerhard Richter, Untitled, 02.11.1989

Gerhard Altenbourg (1926–1989)
Marten Mandorla, 1982–1984
Gouache, powder paint, watercolour, pencil, Chinese ink over lithograph on cream-coloured wove paper
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
490 × 340 mm
© Stiftung Gerhard Altenbourg, Altenburg / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Gerhard Altenbourg, Marten Mandorla, 1982–1984

Johannes Grützke (1937–2017)
Self-Portrait, 1979
Pastel chalks on brown packing paper with six indentations made by burning on bottom edge
1000 × 1070 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Johannes Grützke, Self-Portrait, 1979

Sigmar Polke(1941–2010)
Large Head, 1979
Brush and acrylic paint and watercolour, splatters of paint on a cut stencil made of wove cardboard
980 × 680 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© The Estate of Sigmar Polke, Cologne / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Foto: © Städel Museum

Sigmar Polke, Large Head, 1979

Jörg Immendorf (1945–2007)
C. D. Teilbau, 1978
Gouacheon paper
412 × 296 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© The Estate of Jörg Immendorff, Courtesy Galerie Michael Werner Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Köln & New York
Photo: © Städel Museum

Jörg Immendorf, C. D. Teilbau, 1978

A.R. Penck (1939–2017)
Ground, 1975–76
Watercolour on rough wove paper
730 × 1020 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

A.R. Penck, Ground, 1975–76

Thomas Bayrle (*1937) Untitled, 1970
black coloured pencil on transparent paper, folded around thick, light-coloured wove paper with drawing in graphite
397 × 296 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: Deutsche Bank

Thomas Bayrle, Untitled, 1970

Georg Baselitz (*1938)
Oberon, 1964
Pencil and coloured pencil on laid paper
318 × 256 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Georg Baselitz 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Georg Baselitz, Oberon, 1964

Ernst Wilhelm Nay (1902–1968)
My 13 (Mykonos), 1964
Watercolour on rough wove paper
602 × 420 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Elisabeth Nay-Scheibler, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Ernst Wilhelm Nay, My 13 (Mykonos), 1964

Eugen Schönebeck (*1936)
Untitled, 1963
Pen and black ink on wove paper
457 mm × 304 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Eugen Schönebeck, Untitled, 1963

Hermann Glöckner (1889–1987)
Surface Division in Black and White, 1957
Gouache and folded paper, mounted on prepared paper
size varies (min. 149 × 210 mm, max. 296 × 210 mm)
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
© Photo: Städel Museum

Hermann Glöckner, Surface Division in Black and White, 1957

Karl Otto Götz (1914–2017)
Untitled, 1957
Gouache on white cardboard
648 × 500 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Karl Otto Götz, Untitled, 1957

Paul Klee (1879–1940)
alea jacta (The Die Is Cast), 1940
Brush and paste paint on handmade wove paper, mounted on cardboard
346 × 216 mm Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: © Städel Museum

Paul Klee, alea jacta, 1940

Emil Nolde (1867–1956)
Lake Lucerne, ca. 1930
Watercolour on Japanese wove paper
340 × 470 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
Photo: © Städel Museum

Emil Nolde, Lake Lucerne, ca. 1930

Max Beckmann (1884–1950)
Portrait of Marie Swarzenski, ca. 1927
pastel on paper, mounted on cardboard
520×360 mm (picture)
575×475 mm (cardboard)
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Photo: © Städel Museum

Max Beckmann, Portrait of Marie Swarzenski, ca. 1927

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938)
Berlin Street Scene, 1914
Pastel chalks and charcoal on laid paper
677 × 503 mm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: © Städel Museum

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Berlin Street Scene, 1914

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
Photo: Städel Museum - Norbert Miguletz

Exhibition view "Great Realism & Great Abstraction"
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