post-title Max Pietschmann | Grisebach | 02.09.-03.10.2020

Max Pietschmann | Grisebach | 02.09.-03.10.2020

Max Pietschmann | Grisebach | 02.09.-03.10.2020

Max Pietschmann | Grisebach | 02.09.-03.10.2020

until 03.10. | #2831ARTatBerlin | Grisebach shows from September 02, 2020, the exhibition “King Kong comes from Dresden – The rediscovery of the painter Max Pietschmann” by the artist Max Pietschmann.

The leitmotif of the show is the main work of the artist, the monumental oil painting “Fischzug des Polyphem” (380 x 260 cm), which was believed to be lost. In addition, pictures, photographs and letters from his estate will be presented.

In Grisebach’s exhibition announcement, the gallery takes us into the moment of discovery: “So there it lay, the huge canvas: in the attic of an old Dresden townhouse, carefully rolled and jacked up. The outrageously modern oil studies and photos of the women lolling in the shallow Mediterranean fanned our curiosity. The small-format compositional sketch gave us an idea. The feast for the eyes as the colorful fabric was rolled out in a Berlin restorer’s studio exceeded all expectations: before we rose – centimeter by centimeter – a one-eyed giant in front of a dazzling blue Riviera sky, white mountains of clouds, as light as the radiant incarnate body of the frightened beauties, whose physical presence is not shown by rapt sea creatures but by women in the here and now. Their playground: an irritatingly shimmering, rhythmically abstracted water landscape in front of sun-glowing cyclopean rocks.”

ART at Berlin - Courtesy by Grisebach - Max Pietschmann - Fischzug des Polyphem - 1892
Max Pietschmann, Fischzug des Polyphem, Oil/Canvas, 380 x 260 cm, 1892

Max Pietschmann (1865 – Dresden – 1952) studied at the Academy of Art in Dresden from 1883. A travel scholarship enabled him to attend the Académie Julien in Paris in 1889. Afterwards he worked for two years in Italy, in Rome and above all in Sicily. His main work “Polyphem”, which he created here, shows the enormous creative power of his early years: a mammoth work, as self-confident, powerful and avant-garde as the international art of his time. According to the novelist Robert Musil, the young talent was infected by the “spurring fever” that “suddenly rose from the oil-slick spirit of the last decades of the 19th century all over Europe”. With an insatiable curiosity, Pietschmann absorbed both new and old and inspired the legendary landscape of Sicily in free literary adaptation and proverbial mythical creativity with his very own pictorial inventions. The presentation and awarding of the “Polyphem” at the World Exhibition in Chicago in 1893 marked the first highlight of his career.

ART at Berlin - Courtesy by Grisebach - Max Pietschmann - Studie zum Polyphem - 1891
Max Pietschmann, Study of „Polyphem“, Oil/Canvas, 74,5 x 115 cm, 1891

With his mystifying view of nature, the artist stands in the tradition of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger and is considered a representative of German Symbolism. As a leading member of the progressive “Goppelner Kreis”, he took plain-air painting in Dresden to a new level and played a decisive role in preparing the Secession, which was founded in 1893 and whose deputy chair he took over in 1899. The creatively powerful interpretations of current national and international influences of Symbolism, Impressionism and early Art Nouveau establish Pietschmann’s role as an important protagonist of the “new direction in painting” in Dresden. Together with artists such as Oskar Zwintscher, Richard Müller, Hans Unger and Sascha Schneider, he belongs to the “phalanx of the strong, which meant art in Dresden at the turn of the century” (Kuno v. Hardenberg, 1928).

ART at Berlin - Courtesy by Grisebach - Max Pietschmann - Fotografische Studien zum Polyphem - 1891
Max Pietschmann, Photographic studies of the „Polyphem“, Sicily, about 1891

Symbolism as a pan-European art movement of the early modern age is celebrating a comeback in our days. With the rediscovery of this early major work, Pietschmann is once again at the forefront!

The exhibition was curated by Dr. Anna Ahrens, Frida-Marie Grigull and Luca Meinert.

Soft opening: Tuesday, September 1, 2020, from 6 p.m.

Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 2 September – Saturday, October 3, 2020

To the Gallery



Exhibition Max Pietschmann – Grisebach | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibtions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin


Comments (1)

  1. I have a picture here, it says Max Pietschmann 99 on the back and on the front bottom of the picture. I have looked at many paintings of his but have not found this one anywhere. It is a picture of a young woman naked back walking closely with a man, also naked from behind. They are walking through nature, through grass filled with daisies by a creek. How can I tell if it is real or not?? Please reply if you can help.

    Thank you

    Chow for Now Eve

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