This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the burning of Moscow

Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Photo: Wikipedia

The exhibition is dedicated to Schinkel’s oeuvre regarding the history of architecture and building aesthetics, as well as the entire Schinkel art universe, newly appraised and translated into descriptive arrangements of art works with special attention given to the transformation achievements of the early historism period. According to Schinkel, “History and Poetry” exceed pure function and material value and as a consequence elevate a piece of work to a work of art. Enlightenment, romanticist and classicist notions flash up in those two terms. Schinkel restaged the burning of the city of Moscow on 6 September 1812 and created a sophisticated optical diorama, which was enthusiastically received by the Berlin audience. The exhibition will open with a reconstruction of this impressive construction.

Paul Gauguin and his flight to Tahiti

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Martinigue, 1897. Photo: Wikipedia

Primarily focusing on Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and his flight to Tahiti, the exhibition in Madrid will analyse how this journey to supposedly more authentic worlds resulted in an updating and rethinking of his creative idiom and to what extent this experience affected the transition towards modern art. The exhibition will survey the period that opens with Gauguin’s visual experiments in the South Seas and continues with the artistic investigations of subsequent artists such as Emil Nolde, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and August Macke, with the aim of revealing Gauguin’s influence on the early 20th-century avant-garde movements.

An Impressionist and Photography

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), Paris, c. 1885. Photo: Wikipedia

The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt will dedicate a comprehensive exhibition featuring numerous paintings and drawings to the French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte. Caillebotte’s oeuvre provides new, fundamental, and complementary ways to approach Impressionist painting: his radical, highly modern, and photographic-seeming depictions very convincingly reconstruct the close connection between photography and painting in the development of a new way of seeing. Many of Caillebotte’s works anticipate a photographic perspective—especially in the particular angle of view and the way the images are cropped, but also in their approach to themes like movement and abstraction—that does not emerge in the medium of photography until later. For this reason the exhibition will also incorporate outstanding examples of photography from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and in so doing will provide a clear demonstration of Caillebotte’s role as trailblazer.

The Northern Vermeer

Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916), Photo: Wikipedia

The Kunsthalle in München is presenting the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916). With more than 100 outstanding works, this retrospective not only offers an overview of his entire creative output, it also places this painter of silence and light in the context of his European contemporaries around 1900. Over 30 carefully selected paintings by artists such as Fantin-Latour, Matisse, Munch, Seurat and Whistler position the Dane in an international context. Hammershøi has traditionally been viewed as a unique figure in Danish art – a monumental presence, overshadowing his contemporaries and seeking his equal both nationally and internationally. This exhibition seeks to broaden this narrow perspective.
The presentation explores not only the essential nature of Hammershøi’s art, with its limited range of colours, his dry brushwork and the atmosphere of tension, but also the central themes of his oeuvre, such as the isolated figure in a home setting, the empty room, the abandoned city and the stark landscape. These groupings are presented in a dialogue with works by foreign artists, in order to demonstrate the prominent position occupied by Hammershøi in European painting around 1900. Apart from tracing proven sources of inspiration, the retrospective highlights mutual discourses with various artists. Thus, it becomes apparent that people throughout Europe around the turn of the twentieth century were preoccupied with common ideals, fears and desires. Particular parallels can be found in the realm of the international Symbolist movement, and relate to phenomena like moods or the sheer human existence, as opposed to purely narrative compositions.