until 11.08. | Kunsthaus Dahlem is currently presenting the exhibition “Flucht in die Bilder? Die Künstler der Brücke im Nationalsozialismus (> Escape into the Pictures?) The Artists of the Brücke in National Socialism” in cooperation with the Brücke Museum.
The exhibition “Flucht in die Bilder?” is the first to critically and extensively examine the artistic practice, scope of action and everyday life of the former Brücke artists under National Socialism.
The situation of Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in the years 1933 to 1945 has so far mostly been reduced to ‘ostracism’ of their art by the National Socialists. This one-dimensional view does neither do justice to the multi-layered situation of the artists nor to the contradictions within National Socialist cultural policy. At the beginning, most of the former Brücke artists had cherished the hope that their art would find recognition among the National Socialists – a hope that the latter had partially nurtured. Despite the caesura caused by the Nazi art policy, the former Brücke artists – with the exception of Kirchner, who took his own life in 1938 – were artistically active until the last years of the war.
In order to make breaks and continuities in the work of the former Brücke clear, the reappraisal does not end in May 1945, but continues in the last part of the show at the Kunsthaus Dahlem. How did the exhibition look back from the summer of 1945 on years of National Socialist tyranny, what function did the former Brücke painters have in the reconstruction of a divided Germany?
The exhibition “Flucht in die Bilder?” focuses on works by Schmidt-Rottluff, Heckel, Pechstein, and Kirchner from the Brücke Museum. The presentation focuses on a multi-layered view and approaches the complexity of the subject – the bridge between recognition and ‘ostracism’ – by means of artistic works and extensive documentation material.
“Flucht in die Bilder? is curated by Prof. Dr. Aya Soika (Bard College Berlin), Dr. Meike Hoffmann (Freie Universität, Forschungsstelle Entartete Kunst) and Lisa Marei Schmidt (Brücke-Museum). A comprehensive catalogue is published by Hirmer Verlag in German and English.
The publication is sponsored by the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the exhibition is sponsored by the Hauptstadtkulturfond.
Exhibition period: Sunday, 14 April – Sunday, 11 August 2019Zum Kunsthaus Dahlem
Image caption: Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, »Entwurzelte Bäume«, 1934, Brücke-Museum © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Escape into the pictures? The Artists of the Brücke in National Socialism – Kunsthaus Dahlem – Kunst in Berlin | ART at Berlin