Come spring, the Groninger Museum and Museum de Fundatie will present a double exhibition devoted to expressionism in twentieth-century Germany under the titles The Wild and The New Wild. Museum De Fundatie will show expressionism from the beginning of the century. The Groninger Museum will focus on neo-expressionism from the 1980s. Despite the long timespan dividing the two movements, they have one important thing in common: artistic freedom without compromise.
Not the outside world, but the internal world, that’s what the expressionists cared about. Art as the expression of inner experience. Artistic conventions and academic rules were replaced by subjective experiences. In early-twentieth-century Germany, expressionism manifested itself in the work of members of artist groups ‘Brücke’ and ‘Der Blaue Reiter’. Freed from the necessity of adhering to visible reality, artists like Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc and Max Pechstein pursued new painterly means to capture their views. Unprecedented bright colours and bold shapes became the vehicles of ideas and emotions.
The exhibition ‘The Wild. The Expressionism of Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter’ is not classified by period or group, as is usual, but on the basis of substantive criteria around the themes ‘men’ and ‘world’. The emphasis is therefore on the ideas of the expressionists rather than on stylistic developments.
‘The Wild. Expressionism of Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter’ is on show at Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle from 30 April to 18 September 2016.
The New Wild
As insolently and intensely as punk once shook up things in the world of pop music, neoexpressionism manifested in the world of visual art. In the 1960s and 1970s, international art was dominated by abstract and conceptual trends and hardly anyone expected figurative, expressionist painting to make such a fierce comeback.
But it did, in several countries at once, and nowhere on such a broad scale as in (then West) Germany. In vibrant centres in various cities, young artists began to interact and compete with each other to create raw, provocative and humorous paintings. Some of them were directly inspired by historical German expressionism; others, with undisguised sarcasm, practiced so-called ‘bad painting’. The Groninger Museum was one of the first museums in the Netherlands to collect this type of art on a large scale.
‘The New Wild’, with work of, among others, Walter Dahn, Martin Kippenberger, Helmut Middendorf, Ina Barfuss, Peter Bömmels, Werner Büttner, Albert Oehlen, Bettina Semmer, Volker Tannert, Thomas Wachweger and Bernd Zimmer, was originally compiled by the Städel Museum in Frankfurt and is the first to present a coherent overview of this phenomenon.
‘The New Wild. German Neo-Expressionism of The 1980s’ is on show at the Groninger Museum from 30 April to 23 October 2016.
The New Wild was compiled by the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main.
Note to Editors
For more information and visual materials about ‘The New Wild’, please contact the Groninger Museum, Communication department, PR and Marketing:
Regina Zwaagstra, email@example.com, +31 (0)50 3666 510.
For more information and visual material about ‘The Wild’, please contact Museum de Fundatie:
Koen Schuurhuis, firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 (0)572 38 81 43.