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"Expressionismus & Expressionismi" exhibition opens at Pinacotheque de Paris
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Bateaux à flot (Bateaux dans le port), c. 1913. Huile sur toile, 77 x 90,5 cm. Osthaus Museum, Hagen © Adagp, Paris, 2011.
PARIS.- Pinacothèque de Paris‏ presents "Expressionismus & Expressionismi" this title is a neologism, in reference to the major exhibition on Futurism that was held in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 1986 which the late Pontus Hutten had entitled Futurismo & Futurismi to show the diversity of movements that made up Italian Futurism. This neologism also illustrates the diversity of German Expressionism’s origins. Often perceived as monolithic, or, at the very least, grouped together under a single name, this movement was nonetheless made up of two diametrically opposite approaches.

Expressionism chiefly came into being around two currents, two schools, opposite in every way, without however entering into conflict with each other. By analogy, it could be the sea and the mountain.

Der Blaue Reiter was an intellectual movement, chiefly made up of theoreticians, of thinkers, of philosophers who had a very theoretical approach to what their work should be. Heirs of the German and Romantic culture of the Gesamtkunstwerk «total artwork» – in which literature, music, poetry and drawings were combined in a harmonious whole –, that movement also included foreign artists such as Kandinsky, who thus brought a non-Germanic culture to what was meant to be the ideal artistic creativity.

In parallel to that purely intellectual movement, Die Brücke grew up around artists who emphasized an emotional and sensitive creation, in which the purely intellectual references of Der Blaue Reiter did not have their place. These artists were going to express their instinctive relationship to a climate, to an epoch, to a context, to a period of pan-Germanic decadence to which they became the powerless and unhappy witnesses.

Those two opposite movements were so far removed that they should have had no points in common. However, they were to answer each other and become embedded to such an extent that they fused at times to the extent of becoming a single and unique movement, later called German Expressionism.

They also gave birth to other movements, other schools or emanations, to the extent that one and the other formed myriad currents, all integrated within expressionism, although based on very different philosophies at times.

The exhibition shown in the Pinacothèque de Paris is interested solely in the two founding currents of German Expressionism, very distinct, very opposite, but also very representative of that movement. Principally around Kirchner, Nolde, Schmitt-Rottluff as well as Kandinsky, Marc and Jawlensky, the exhibition will bring together about one hundred and fifty works.

Such a study has never before been put together in the many exhibitions shown on the subject in Germany. As always interested in dialogue and confrontation between the arts, the Pinacothèque de Paris invites you to discover the important and diametrically opposed nuances, by confronting the artists and the works, instead of showing them, as was the case up till now, artist by artist.



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