From Kirchner to Kandinsky

German expressionism from Dutch museums, 1919-1964

25 March 2005 to 18 September 2005

German expressionist art collected by Dutch museums in the period 1919-1964. The exhibition links up with a book on German art in the Netherlands that was published by the art historian Gregor Langfeld in October of this year.

In addition to its commitment to display work by De Ploeg – the Groningen artists’ association renowned for its expressionist work – the Groninger Museum also articulated an intention to organize exhibitions of international expressionist movements. The planned exhibition is an excellent example of this intention, which was stated as far back as 2001.

The exhibition From Kirchner to Kandinsky presents three subgroups of German art: Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter, and artists that do not specifically belong to a certain group. Kirchner is the most important representative of Die Brücke. A relatively large amount of this artist’s work was acquired by Dutch museums, providing a good reason to allocate him his own room.

Der Blaue Reiter, with Kandinsky as the central figure, forms an important part of the exhibition. After the war, Kandinsky was regarded as an example to young artists and, for that reason, he is still regarded as being of current interest and museums are still purchasing his work. The exhibition will display both early and late paintings by Kandinsky.

Artists who do not particularly belong to a certain group but who are associated with German expressionism include Beckmann, Grosz, Kokoschka, and Dix.

The highlights of this exhibition will include Czardastänzerinnen and Nacktes Mädchen hinter Vorhang (Fränzi) by Kirchner and Frauenkopf by Jawlensky. Jawlensky belonged to the Der Blaue Reiter group.

The work on show comprises items from the collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Museum Boymans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Rijks Print Gallery in Amsterdam, the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, and the Groninger Museum.

As of October 2004, the book Duitse kunst in Nederland. Verzamelen tentoonstellen kritieken 1919-1964 (German Art in the Netherlands. Collections Exhibitions Reviews 1919-1964) by Gregor Langfeld will be available in the Museum Shop, price € 48.50, ISBN 90-400-8998-1.

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Czardastänzerinnen. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag