The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, April 20, 2018

Watercolors and Pastels by Max Beckmann
Max Beckmann, Before the masked ball, Munich, Gallery of Modern Art. 80x130m, 1922.

BILBAO, SPAIN.- The Guggenheim Museum presents the exhibit Max Beckmann: Watercolors and Pastels starting on June 27 through September 17. Max Beckmann (b. 1884, Leipzig, d. 1950, New York) is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Appreciation of his oeuvre, however, has only reached its present height since 1980, with retrospectives in New York, Zurich, and Paris kindling an astonishing new interest.

In addition to diverse painted works, including the famous nine triptychs, Beckmann made his name as a graphic artist. In particular, his graphic cycles Berliner Reise (Berlin Journey, 1922) and Die Hölle (Hell, 1919) are seen today as essential artistic critiques of the Weimar Republic; the series Day and Dream, produced in America in 1946, sums up as if in a kaleidoscope a world of motifs from almost five decades of creativity.

A few outstanding examples of the watercolors and pastels have been exhibited in surveys of his work, so that works like Odysseus (1933) and Der Raub der Europa (The Rape of Europe, 1933) are as famous as his paintings. Yet an assessment of Beckmann as a “painter on paper” has yet to be undertaken. The works are scattered, often hidden away in private collections, or at least not accessible in concentrated groupings like the paintings [in the St. Louis Art Museum in Missouri or in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.] Only in the catalogue raisonné does the importance of his work in these techniques—which are often characterized as light, cheerful, or ephemeral—become clear.

The pastels of the 1920s prepared the way for a new consideration of line and color; the large sheets of 1933 share the radiant color also achieved in the triptych Abfahrt (Departure, 1932–33). In the 1930s and ’40s the watercolors sometimes served as a way to relax from the work on the complex triptychs—for example, the landscapes in Bavaria or on the Baltic Sea. Nevertheless, the comparatively spontaneous technique of watercolor called for a delight in iconographic experimentation, producing a pictorial inventiveness unusual even for Beckmann, as in Ewichkeit (Eternity, 1936). Following his experiences with the pen drawings for Goethe’s Faust II that Beckmann executed during the war, after 1945 sheets appeared with complex combinations of pen, watercolor, gouache, and charcoal. At the same time, he was also producing spontaneous works that are indebted to immediate visual impressions, like café scenes.

In a captivating relationship to the paintings, graphic art, and study drawings for compositions, these works in color on paper show Beckmann experimenting, relaxing, or observing alertly. Alongside the painted oeuvre, one sees an artist who takes his work lightly, who leaves room for humor, who yields to the stimulus of the moment. Our image of a serious artist who suffered over the problems of history and human existence is expanded to include surprising new aspects. Beckmann’s stupendous technical mastery is particularly striking in the works on paper, but the greatest appeal of these works is that the viewer witnesses a fascinating self-dialogue that is gripping even—or perhaps especially—where it remains enigmatic.

The exhibition, comissioned by Mayen Beckmann and Siegfried Gohr, includes nearly one hundred watercolors and pastels from both public and private collections, and has been organized by the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and co-produced by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Today's News

June 23, 2006

From Cranach to Monet - Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Barry Bergdoll Appointed Chief Curator of Architecture

National Conservation Centre Reopens in Liverpoool

About Art on High: A Banner by Julian Stanczak

Young Architects Program Finalists Exhibit at MoMA

Funney and Strange-Works of Art by William Wegman

Watercolors and Pastels by Max Beckmann

The Innovative Designs of Milton Glaser at Brigham Young

Drawings and Paintings by Avigdor Arikha

Rory Macbeth Attempts to Paint "Utopia"

A Sensitivity to the Seasons at the Metropolitan

Ours to Fight For: American Jews

City Without Walls Presents Select Shorts

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful