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Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg Explores J.M.W. Turner as a Painter of Elements
A visitor looks at works by British painter William Turner (1775-1851) at the exhibition 'William Turner - Painter of Elements' at the Kunst Forum in Hamburg. About 95 paintings and watercolors from Tate London, British, German and US collectors will be exhibited until 11 September 2011. EPA/ULRICH PERREY.
HAMBURG.- JMW Turner was known to his contemporaries as a painter of the elements. In his landscape paintings, he created new and unusual combinations of earth, water, air and fire and closely examined their interactions. Turner’s vision of the elements as a singular power fused together by the forces of nature was linked to contemporary research in the natural sciences. New discoveries and insights replaced the traditional teachings of the four classical elements and freed them to be used by artists in new ways. In light of this background, landscape painting during Turner’s time was positioned to revolutionize artistic methods.

The exhibition Turner and the Elements is dedicated to this exceptional artistic endeavour. It shows 95 watercolours and paintings from the Tate in London and other British, German and American collections. Turner’s dynamic concept of landscape, his unconventional use of colour and his advances in abstract painting are interpreted in light of the four classical elements. The five subject areas, Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Fusion show how his painting technique was not only influenced by the latest scientific discoveries, but also appears to pull the viewer into the painting using the force of the natural elements. Thus, Turner focused on the viewer’s own subjective experience when contemplating a work – a visual strategy that was the subject of debate until the Impressionists. After the opening in Hamburg, the exhibition will travel to the Muzeum Narodowe in Krakow and then be shown at the newly opened Turner Contemporary in Margate, England.

Supported by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the Bucerius Kunst Forum is an exhibition center located on the Hamburg Rathausmarkt. Opened in 2002, it shows four exhibitions every year with subjects ranging from ancient to modern art. Within the diversity of Hamburg’s cultural life, the Bucerius Kunst Forum distinguishes itself by monographic shows and exhibitions focusing on a single topic. These exhibitions allow visitors to take a ‘concentrated look’ at art, even on a short visit. As a forum for all the arts, it also provides a venue for prestigious concerts, readings, lectures and discussions in its Ian Karan Auditorium. The Bucerius Kunst Forum is open every day of the week, including Monday.



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June 6, 2011

Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg Explores J.M.W. Turner as a Painter of Elements

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