Hamburger Kunsthalle presents "OUTSTANDING! The Relief from Rodin to Taeuber-Arp"

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Hamburger Kunsthalle presents "OUTSTANDING! The Relief from Rodin to Taeuber-Arp"
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), Seid geheimnisvoll (Soyez mystér-ieuses), 1890. Lindenholz, bemalt, mit Spuren von dunklem Farbstift, 73 x 95 x 5 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris © bpk / RMN – Grand Palais, Paris. Photo: Tony Querrec.



HAMBURG.- With some 130 exhibits by over 100 artists from Europe and the USA, the exhibition OUTSTANDING! focuses on the little-known art form of relief, tracing the many facets of its development from 1800 to the 1960s. Conjoining three- dimensional sculpture and flat painting, relief has always offered a field for experimentation. Even today its plastic presence still challenges our visual faculties, particularly in times when virtual worlds predominate. High-calibre works on loan from private and public collections in Aarau, Basel, Berlin, Den Haag, Geneva, Copenhagen, London, Lyon, Paris and Rotterdam allow visitors to experience the arresting diversity and innovative force of the art of relief.

While neoclassical sculptors such as Bertel Thorvaldsen and Johann Gottfried Schadow still drew chiefly on works from antiquity, nineteenth-century artists Auguste Rodin, Medardo Rosso and others strove to redefine the concept of sculpture. Painter-sculptors such as Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse then created reliefs displaying new ways to handle form and colour. In the twentieth century, Dadaists like Kurt Schwitters and Hans Arp made relief collages from everyday objects and materials such as wood, paper and plastic. Artists of the Russian avant-garde, the Bauhaus, and the Constructivist movement – among them Willi Baumeister, Oskar Schlemmer and Sophie Taeuber-Arp – set out to do nothing less than shape a new world and reform society. Beginning in the 1950s, artists such as Jan Schoonhoven, Piero Manzoni and Karl Hartung began exploring in their works the structural qualities of surfaces and women artists including Louise Nevelson and Lee Bontecou in the meantime made a place for themselves in art history with expansive material objects.

The cross-media exhibition OUTSTANDING! features works from various epochs representing diverse styles and attitudes arranged in a vibrant dialogue in twelve thematic groups. The exhibition is a Collaboration with the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main. In Hamburg there are provided new accents, including 40 additional works. Displayed in the atmospheric setting of the Hubertus Wald Forum as well as in the light-filled galleries housing the Kunsthalle’s collection of Classical Modernism, the medium of relief is able here to unfold its full effects.

The extensive supporting programme includes concert evenings organised in cooperation with the Franz Wirth-Gedächtnis-Stiftung that engage musically with the relief format and its possibilities. An audio tour for adults is available in German and English in the Hamburger Kunsthalle app (free download or 4 euros with a loaned device).

A catalogue is available in German and English for 39 euros in the museum shop or via www.freunde- der-kunsthalle.de and in bookstores.

Curator: Dr. Karin Schick
Research Assistant: Juliane Au










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