MAN IN AN ABYSS… SAYS WOYZECK
08 February 2005 – 01 May 2005
The artists of German and Austrian expressionism have dealt in various ways with the existential foundations of man in modern society. The play by Georg Büchner, Woyzeck in many ways offers impetus to the thoughts and concepts these artists address in their works.
The exhibition will present some of the major series of expressionistic drawings and prints, including Beckmann’s sequence The Inferno , which uses the social, economic and political situation of the German post-war period to create a metaphor of the absurdity of life; a series of xylographs by Ernst Heckel inspired by Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis and dedicated to the solitude and despair of the jailed artist; the sheets by George Grosz.
Finally the irrefutably abstract xylographs of Small Worlds by Wassily Kandinsky and the premature expressionist novel by Oskar Kokoschka, which in this exhibition represents an example of frightened despairing humanity and thereby reaffirming and intensifying the theme of Woyzeck.
Max Beckmann, Die Hölle (The inferno), 1919
George Grosz, Die Räuber (Thieves), 1922/23
Wassily Kandinsky, Kleine Welten (Small Worlds), 1922
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Neben der Heerstarsse (Near Heerstrasse), 1922
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Nacktes Paar auf einem Kanapee (Nude Couple on the Divan), 1908
Erich Heckel, Die Ballade vom Zuchthaus zu Reading von Oskar Wilde (The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde), 1907
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Liebespaar (Lovers), 1909
Emil Nolde, Prophet (Prophet), 1912
Oskar Kokoschka, Mörder Hoffnung der Frauen, (Killer, Hope for Women), 1915.
Oskar Kokoschka, Cantate, o Ewigkeit du Donnerwort (Cantatas, or Eternity, You who are the Thundering Word), 1917.