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German art

Parent categories: Germany - art

Movements: Northern renaissance - German expressionism

People: Max Beckmann - Hans Bellmer - Joseph Beuys - Otto Dix - George Grosz - Max Klinger

People (pre-20th century): Hans Baldung Grien - Hans Holbein - Matthias Grünewald - Lucas Cranach - Albrecht Dürer - Martin Schongauer

Karl Friedrich Schinkel (2000) - Helmut Borsch-Supan

Karl Friedrich Schinkel (2000) - Helmut Borsch-Supan [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

When Kari Friedrich Schinkel finally realized his long-held wish to design stage sets in 1815 under the new director general of the Royal Theatres in Berlin, Karl Count of Bruhl, this introduced a new epoch in the field of stage design. It opened with the twelve sets for Mozart's Magic Flute. These are still living masterpieces in which two geniuses who are related by nature meet. The aim of Schinkel's efforts was to create a comprehensively educational Gesamtkunstwerk. The designs for Mozart's opera were followed by settings from stage works by Gluck, Schiller and Kleist, and also some by authors who are now less well known or forgotten. Schinkel's success created a desire for reproductions of his most beautiful designs. They appeared as coloured aquatint etchings by excellent Berlin engravers from 1819 to 1824 in five volumes, a total of 30 sheets, to which two more were added in a second edition produced from 1847 to 1849. Two further editions were produced in 1861 and in 1874, which proves the continuing popularity of the works. One consequence of the reproductions was that Schinkel's ideas spread beyond the confines of Berlin. The textual commentary examines Schinkel's relationship with the stage, which changed in the course of his life, the history of the emergence of the reproduced works and the strategies pursued by his publisher Ludwig Wilhelm Wittich. Count Bruhl's prefaces to the first and last volumes are important documents in Berlin's theatrical history. A catalogue provides explanations about how the designs were used, on contemporary judgements of them and on their artistic significance.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel (March 13, 1781 - October 9, 1841) German architect and painter. Schinkel was the most prominent architect of neoclassicism in Prussia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Friedrich_Schinkel [Feb 2006]

See also: architecture - neoclassicism - Germany

Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Frankfurt: The Naked Truth
Art and scandal in Vienna around 1900: there is hardly another city more suited for such an investigation than the metropolis on the Danube – a city conveying the sense of a new era of art about to dawn and full of visual, sensuous, and intellectual energies on the one hand and a center determined by a Catholic conservative basic attitude, the hub of an empire on the eve of its decline on the other. The exhibition "The naked truth - Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and other scandals" highlights the society’s conflict with modernity. At odds with the secular and clerical authorities, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, a.o. explored a range of taboos: pregnancy, sexuality and power, homoeroticism, the battle of the sexes, and adolescence. Egon Schiele portrayed Eros, misery, and death with a radical directness and was imprisoned for doing so. And Adolf Loos caused one of the greatest architectural scandals that Vienna ever saw with his – in the words of the contemporary press – “obscenely naked” house on Michaelerplatz. The exhibition presents the Austrian art of the beginning 20th century beyond all fin de siècle romanticism in its uncompromising modernity and its still effective explosive social impact. Curator: Tobias G. Natter, Vienna.

Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 28 Jan - 24 Apr 2005 --http://www.schirn-kunsthalle.de/index.php?do=exhibitions_detail&id=31&lang=en [Jan 2005]

Gerhard Richter (1932 - )

Skull (1983) - Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter (born February 9, 1932) is a German artist. His artwork features on the cover of Sonic Youth's 1988 album Daydream Nation.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Richter [Jan 2005]

Anselm Kiefer

Melancholia (1990-1991) - Anselm Kiefer
image sourced here.

Anselm Kiefer's Melancholia,1990-91, is one of four large-scale lead sculpture airplanes that the artist created in the past decade. It joins other important works by Kiefer already in the Museum's collection, including four large paintings and three artist's books. In both its title and its form, Melancholiamakes reference to Albrecht Dürer's Melencolia I from 1514, which represents the melancholic temperament through a depiction of an angel-winged woman sitting grounded with her head in her hands, a tetrahedron positioned on the left side of the work. Kiefer's lead-winged creation with a crystal tetrahedron on its left side recalls the ravages of the air raids of World War II, which ended the year the artist was born. Kiefer's art explores recent German history without memorializing; rather, it speaks of a transcendence of such oppositions as spiritual and material, heaven and earth, emphasized through his use of symbolic images such as the grounded airplane. Kiefer chooses his material, in this case lead, not only for its physical properties, but for its signifying values as well. Kiefer's sculptures in lead comment on the dual nature of ideas, history and forms of expression, exposing what is "real" by encompassing oppositions. Melancholia,the first Kiefer sculpture to enter SFMOMA's collection, expands the Museum's holdings of key works by the artist, among which are the following paintings: Die Sechste Posaune(The Sixth Trump), 1996; Osiris und Isis(Osiris and Isis), 1985-87; and Seraphim,1984, and Unternehmen Seelöwex(Operation Sea Lion), 1975, both fractional gifts of Vicki and Kent Logan. --http://herreros.com.ar/melanco/kiefer.htm [May 2005]

Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer (born March 8, 1945, Donaueschingen) is a German artist. He studied with Joseph Beuys during the 1970s. His works incorporate materials like straw, ash, clay, steel, and shellac. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer's themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, as have the theological concepts of Kabbalah. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_Kiefer [May 2005]

Neo-expressionism was a style of modern painting that emerged in the late 1970s and dominated the art market until the mid-1980s. It developed as a reaction against the conceptual and minimalistic art of the 1970s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in a virtually abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way using vivid colours and banal colour harmonies. The popularity of the style, or partially even the style itself, was created by aggressive marketing and media promotion by the art dealers and galleries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-expressionism [May 2005]

La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin

La Sirène (1887) - Arnold Böcklin [aka La Mer calme], image sourced here.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens or Seirenes were sea nymphs who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous (by Terpsichore) or Phorcys (Virgil. V. 846; Ovid XIV, 88). Their individual names are variously reported as Aglaope, Leucosia, Parthenope, Pisinoe, and Thelxiepia.

According to some versions, they were playmates of a young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for not interfering when Persephone was abducted (Ovid V, 551).

The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren [Mar 2005]

Thomas Hirschhorn

Thomas Hirschhorn (Bern, 1957) is a Swiss artist.

He received the (2000/2001) Marcel Duchamp Prize and the Joseph Beuys Prize in 2004. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hirschhorn [Nov 2005]

"Thomas Hirschhorn plugs himself into the communicative potential of thought discontent with the enforced definitions and limitations of a hyper- capitalist, multinational rhetoric of globalization. Neglecting material worth, his work encompasses diverse sculptural models in an impoverished taste for the product wrappings of consumer industry – aluminum foil, plastic, cardboard and plywood – suspending capitalist desires in a state of constant creative anarchy. Following a logic of ephemerality, accumulation and a potential openendedness, Hirschhorn’s perishable monuments to Benedict de Spinoza (Amsterdam, 1999), Gilles Deleuze (Avignon, 2000), Georges Bataille (2002, Kassel) and Antonio Gramsci (not yet realized), reflect upon communal commitment and “the quality of internal beauty” (Hirschhorn). Personally and socially mapping the city of Kassel for more than a year, Hirschhorn integrates the Bataille Monument actively into the lives of a marginalized local community for the duration of the exhibition. Forgoing traditional terms of knowledge production, the work returns the museum’s ritualized function of displaying and collecting to the public realm."

Paul Scheerbart (1863 - 1915)

Paul Scheerbart, image sourced here.

Paul Karl Wilhelm Scheerbart, auch unter seinem Pseudonym Kuno Küfer bekannt, (* 8. Januar 1863 in Danzig, † 15. Oktober 1915 in Berlin) war Schriftsteller fantastischer Literatur und Zeichner. --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Scheerbart [Mar 2005]

A caricature is a humorous illustration that exaggerates or distorts the basic essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness.

Although caricatures can be made of inanimate objects such as cars or buildings, the art form is usually reserved for illustrations of people, especially celebrities and politicians.

Caricatures can be insulting or complimentary and can serve a political purpose or be drawn solely for entertainment. Caricatures of politicians are commonly used in editorial cartoons, while caricatures of movie stars are often found in entertainment magazines.

The art form was popularized in the early 18th century, when satirical drawings of politicians and local celebrities would be printed in newspapers. Caricatures would often be less than warmly received by their powerful targets, and for many years the art form was one of anonymous mischief.

In the years after World War I the art form experienced a renaissance in the United States, and in some magazines caricatures became more common and in higher demand than actual photographs. A new wave of artists like Al Hirschfeld and Miguel Covarrubias showed that caricatures could be fun, colorful, and graceful, and not always the crude, vicious insults found on the editorial page. In the UK Punch magazine kept the tradition alive through the 1950 to 1980 period. The cartoonist Steve Bell maintained the tradition thereafter to great effect. The puppet show Spitting Image on British television during the 1980s brought an awareness of caricature to a new generation, combining rod-operated puppets with accurate vocal impressions. Politicians, media stars and sporting celebrities remained the main targets and the grey finish of a much used John Major puppet played a very significant role in establishing his unadventurous public image in the UK.

Today, the art of caricature is still around, though nowhere near as prevalent as the "Golden Age" of the 20's and 30's. In recent years there has been a rise of amateur "On-the-spot Caricaturists" who can be found on street corners or fairs and will draw a quick sketch of anyone willing to pay their fee.

The word "caricature" can also apply to a person or thing that displays behaviour or mannerisms that are ridiculously exaggerated and overly stereotypical.

An early definition of the origins of 'caricature', an Italian word meaning 'to load', occurs in the English doctor Sir Thomas Browne's Christian Morals (first pub.1716) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caricature [Mar 2005]

Gregor Baci

Painting by Gregor Baci, German, 16th century

According to tradition, the man portrayed is the Hungarian nobleman Gregor Baci, who was healed after having a lance pierce his right eye during a tournament. In the inventory of 1621 he is identified as an Hungarian hussar, who suffered this injury while fighting against the Turks. In the case of portraits of unusual people the interest of the collector, Archduke Ferdinand II, was not focussed on the painting as a work of art but rather on the person portrayed, his special destiny and his deeds. These were simply the qualities that made him a celebrity and raised him above the level of the average person. This desire to preserve the whole person and his deeds for posterity was, of course, also the motivation for collecting weapons and armour of famous rulers in his heroes armoury. --http://www.khm.at/system2E.html?/staticE/page382.html [Jun 2005]

The Polar Sea (1824) - Caspar David Friedrich

The Polar Sea (1824) - Caspar David Friedrich
image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

During the 19th century, in both European and American art, the landscape emerged as a subject of profound significance. As industry flourished, many artists turned to nature as an escape. --http://wwar.com/masters/f/friedrich-caspar_david.html [Jul 2005]

see also: sublime - 1820s

Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 (2004) - Pamela Kort

Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 (2004) - Pamela Kort[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
A skeleton urinates in a river, demons torment sobbing broken men, and the devil mates with Salome to infect the Pope with syphilis in this history of the mania for the bizarre in German visual art, performance and literature. The book, produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Neue Galerie in New York, begins with curator Kort's essay on the symbolist painter Arnold Bocklin, who produced lushly painted scenes of mythic figures and monsters at play. As the book goes on, the genres become less traditional, encompassing the fields of photography, collage and even puppetry. In addition, the images themselves become more abstract, as lurid mélanges of male, female and animal bodies form comic nightmares. Certainly, the horror of two world wars and the rise of fascism had an influence on the explosion of art produced in the comic grotesque mode in Germany, particularly in the Expressionist, Dada and Surrealist schools. However, as Frances S. Connelly and Robert Storr point out in this book's essays, the comic grotesque style has been something of a constant in Western Art, and is well represented today by artists like Cindy Sherman. The degree to which the works on display in this handsome collection still disquiet, shock and move us is a testament not only to the imagination of the artists who produced them, but also to the ongoing depravities of war and violence. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --via Amazon.com

Product Description:
Filled with irreverent wit, comical elements, and absurdist humor, the concept of the grotesque has fascinated artists since ancient times, but it achieved importance as a novel aesthetic approach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Starting with Arnold Böcklin’s grotesque pictorial compositions, this volume, accompanying an exhibition, brings together a dazzling array of artists who drew inspiration from grotesque ideas about disorder, distortion, and inanity, including Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Otto Dix, Alfred Kubin, Kurt Schwitters, and Emil Nolde. Essays consider the frequently overlooked connection between the visual arts and other media, specifically the rise of cabaret culture and humor magazines. In addition, the authors examine the legacy of the grotesque movement as seen in modern drama, art, and performance. With nearly two hundred color and black-and-white illustrations, this striking collection traces the evolution of a largely ignored, but hugely influential, movement in modern art. --via Amazon.com Product Details

See also: 2004, comic, grotesque, Germany

The Last Judgement (1467-71) - Hans Memling

The Last Judgement (detail) (1467-71) - Hans Memling

Early Netherlandish painting is a term art historians use to designate a group of painters who were active primarily in the Southern Netherlands in the 15th and early 16th centuries. These painters are also known as the Flemish Primitives, not because their art lacked sophistication (quite to the contrary), but because they were at the origin of a wholly new tradition in painting.

Chief among them were:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Netherlandish_painting [Sept 2005]

See also: Erwin Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting (1953).

Bosch is supposedly not a "Flemish Primitive" nor a "Renaissance" painter, he is sui generis, which is an expensive word for unique.

See also: 1400s - 1500s - art history - Netherlands - Belgium

The Battle of Alexander (1529) - Albrecht Altdorfer

The Battle of Alexander (1529) - Albrecht Altdorfer

Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480 near Regensburg – February 12, 1538 in Regensburg) was a painter, the leader of the Danubian School in southern Germany, and a contemporary of Albrecht Dürer.

He was a landscape painter of religious and mythological representations; most famously also for painting landscapes for their beauty and not as illustrating any story or parable, perhaps the first "pure" landscape painter.

His "Battle of Arbela" adorns the Münich Picture Gallery.

See also: Early Renaissance painting --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht Altdorfer [Sept 2005]

See also: 1400s - fantastic art - Middle Ages - Renaissance - German art

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