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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Brings Together Works by Kollwitz, Beckmann, Dix and Grosz
A woman views a detail sketch, entitled Sleeping Child and Child's Head (1903), by German artist Kaethe Kollwitz during a press event at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, in Stuttgart, Germany, 28 April 2011. An exhibition, entitled Kollwitz Beckmann Dix Grosz - Wartime, brings together 300 drawings, paintings and scultures from the museum's collection by artists active during both world wars. It opens to the public from 30 April to 07 August. EPA/MARIJANMURAT.
STUTTGART.- The exhibition “Kollwitz – Beckmann – Dix – Grosz. Wartime” brings together works from within the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart’s collection – immediate artistic reactions to the two devastating world wars and society in the first half of the twentieth century.

Series and portfolios by these artists rarely shown in their entirety are included, as are self-portraits and other impressive individual works. The drawings and prints are complemented by a small number of paintings and sculptures.

For the first time in more than forty years, the Staatsgalerie is presenting its complete internationally noteworthy Käthe Kollwitz holdings, comprising some one hundred drawings and prints. Her oeuvre offers above all investigations – as forceful as they are distressing – of the themes of “war”, “death” and “family”.

The artist’s son and grandson were killed in action in the two world wars, losses that caused her painful uncertainty about her own existence. The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart presents its rich holdings of Käthe Kollwitz drawings and prints, among them her four series “A Weavers’ Rebellion”, “Peasants’ War”, “War” and “Death”.

They are enhanced by works of such Kollwitz contemporaries as Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner, Otto Dix and George Grosz to form a powerful image of an epoch.

In the etching series “The War”, published in Berlin in 1924, Otto Dix (1891–1969) visualizes the events and consequences of the battles in France and Belgium with relentless harshness.

Max Beckmann (1884–1950) is represented with works executed during and after World War I, for example the recently purchased drawing “Nurse and Male Figure Tending to Sick Patient” of 1915.

George Grosz (1893–1959) documents in this show primarily the period between the world wars. Characterized by poverty, hunger, hardship and insurgency, it was an era of a still very “warlike” nature, as seen in Grosz’s 1922 series “The Robbers: Nine Lithographs on sentences from Schiller’s Robbers”.

Works by Ernst Barlach (1870–1938) and Ludwig Meidner (1884–1966) are also on view, as are two further series presenting war in all its absurdity and destructive frenzy: “The Damned” by Otto Herrmann (1899–1995) of Stuttgart, executed in the years 1947–50 after Theodor Plievier’s novel “Stalingrad”, and “DRESDEN 1945” by Wilhelm Rudolph (1889–1982).

Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) is represented in the exhibition with his work “Heroic Symbols” of 1969, acquired by the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 2010. In it he examined the impact of fascism on post-1945 art and his personal stance on that phase of German history.

Art in any shape or form can be beautiful, cheering, soothing – or simply exist without any ulterior motive. Just as important a function of art, however, is to stir people up, call their attention to adverse circumstances, remind them of human nature’s pitfalls – and thus to intervene in society’s processes.



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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Brings Together Works by Kollwitz, Beckmann, Dix and Grosz

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