WASHINGTON, DC.- The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
is showing an exhibition of influential German artist Markus Lüpertz. Offering unparalleled insight into the artists pioneering early practice, Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History (May 24Sept. 10) showcases more than 30 paintings from Lüpertzs formative years in the 1960s and 70s, as he challenged the limits of painting and forged his own style amidst the unrest of postwar Germany.
One of Europes most prolific postwar painters, Lüpertz rose to international prominence in the 1980s as a leading figure of neo-expressionism, and he has worked across a wide range of media for more than 50 years. This exhibition offers visitors the first in-depth insight into a groundbreaking but lesser-known time in his career, and it provides critical context to what was often viewed as a provocative use of military images in the years following World War II.
During this period, Lüpertz as a young artist sought to distill abstract expressionism, pop art, and German motifs into a unique style that emphasized pure creative expression to become, as he described it, a painter without responsibilities. Highlights include the monumental 40-foot Westwall [Siegfried Line] (1968), which has never been shown in the U.S., Donald Ducks Hochzeit (Donald Ducks Wedding) (1963) and Deutsches Motiv IIIdithyrambisch (1972).
A prolific painter, sculptor, poet and jazz musician, Lüpertz crafted a unique visual vocabulary out of an alchemy of influences, from the poetry of Friedrich Nietzche to the social and political history of his native Germany, said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. We are pleased to present these dynamic works, which offer one artists striking response to the world around him.
Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History is presented in conjunction with a five-decade retrospective of the artists work at the Phillips Collection (May 27Sept. 3). Together, the two exhibitions comprise Lüpertzs first major U.S.museum survey.
A joint catalog offers new scholarship on Lüpertzs development, including essays by the exhibitions curators, Evelyn C. Hankins (Hirshhorn) and Dorothy Kosinski (Phillips), in addition to contributions from scholars Richard Shiff and Peter Weibel and a special greeting by Peter Wittig, Ambassador of the Republic of Germany to the United States.
As the national museum of contemporary art, the Hirshhorn showcases the ways artists respond to the world in which they live. Lüpertz is part of the Hirshhorns 201718 schedule of diverse contemporary artists whose work reflects global conversations in history, politics and culture, including Yayoi Kusama, Theaster Gates and Mark Bradford.