Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Exhibition | 1937: Munich’s Degenerate Summer

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Exhibition view,
Entartete Kunst,
Munich, 1937

Stadtarchiv München



Munich, Summer 1937.
The ‘Great German Art Exhibition’
and ‘Degenerate Art’
Haus der Kunst
Munich | Germany
Until 4 September 2017



Exhibition view,
Große Deutsche
Kunstausstellung,
Munich, 1937
Stadtarchiv München



In the summer of 1937, when the Haus der Deutschen Kunst (The House of German Art), opened in Munich – Adolph Hitler’s chosen capital of German culture – over 735,000 sightseers came to the city. As the first representative monumental building of the ‘Third Reich’, the building was intended to play a central role in the Führer’s political vision. Aware of the importance of making big statements to maximise impact, Hitler chose Paul Ludwig Troost, who specialised in building ocean liners, to design it. Impressed, lulled into false calm by Nazi propaganda – the extreme political aggression and murderous racism of the regime having not yet manifested itself – visitors also flocked to see, and to have themselves photographed, alongside other architectural projects such the classical Königsplatz, which Troost had redeveloped as a National Socialist parade ground.

Its name simplified, the Haus der Kunst – which for ten years after the war ended was commandeered for use as a US Army casino, and afterwards played host to a motley array of exhibitions – re-opened in 1990 as a museum of modern art. With no permanent collection of its own, it has been a leading international centre devoted to diversity in contemporary art since 2003.

Mel Bochner’s
The Joys of Yiddish,
Haus der Kunst, 2013,
installation view
Photo Wilfried Petzi



Exhibition view,
Große Deutsche
Kunstausstellung
,
Munich, 1937

Stadtarchiv München



In stark contrast, Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) – the museum’s inaugural exhibition – was part of a propagandist stunt carefully orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels. Consisting of seized modernist works from the collections of 32 German museums, and literally thrown together in such a way as to make the art look worthless, it opened the day before another well-planned and carefully laid out exhibition, the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung (The Great German Art Exhibition) was launched at the adjacent, historic Hofgarten Gallery.

The idea of staging the Entartete Kunst exhibition in this way was not just to mock modern art, but also to encourage the public to view it as part of an evil plot against the German people. Although only six of the 112 artists featured in it were Jewish, the Nazis claimed that modern art was the product of Jews and Bolsheviks. One display of entirely abstract paintings, was labelled ‘the insanity room’. While Entartete Kunst included works by internationally recognised painters, such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Oskar Kokoschka, alongside others by famous German artists of the time such as Max Beckmann, and the expressionists, Emil Nolde and Georg Grosz, the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung showed regime-approved paintings and sculptures of statuesque nudes, idealised soldiers and romantic landscapes.

Legalising the previous year’s seizures – each having been alphabetically indexed by the Propaganda Ministry – the Law on Confiscation of Products of Degenerate Art would be passed in 1938. Some of the expropriated works were sold at auction in Switzerland; others were disposed of through private dealers, while around 5,000 items were secretly burned in Berlin the following year: a phenomenal loss to 20th century art.

Ironically, while many of the amateur snaps and films included in this archive-based exhibition at the Haus der Kunst would have today’s visitor believe it was a season of idyllic pleasures, Munich, Summer 1937 documents a nightmarish, cultural disaster.

All images courtesy Haus der Kunst


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Photography | Regina Schmeken on Bloody Ground

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Theodoros Boulgarides (41)
15.06.2005 München Trappentreustraße
, 2013



Regina Schmeken
Bloody Ground. Scenes of NSU Crimes
Martin-Gropius-Bau
Berlin | Germany
29 July > 29 October 2017



Halit Yozgat (21)
06.04.2006 Kassel Holländische Straße
, 2015



Enver Şimşek (38)
09.09.2000 Nürnberg
, 2015



Much of the work of conveying the oppressive atmosphere of a Nazi arena is done for photographers by the overblown architecture that stands as a stark reminder of the misplaced ideals of the sinister powers responsible for their construction. The barbed wire and lookout towers of death camps, such as Buchenwald, prompt vivid recollections of the atrocities perpetrated there. An old man in a flat cap sitting at a bus stop in an ordinary street lined with apartment buildings; a couple on a scooter riding past a forlorn flower stall beside a rainwater puddle; the chequered, tiled floor of a bike shop – were not much for German photographer Regina Schmeken to go on.

The dead bodies and the blood were long gone, however, in 2013 when Schmeken returned to the crime scenes where ten people were executed by right-wing National Socialist Underground extremists in Dortmund, Hamburg, Heilbronn, Kassel, Cologne, Munich, Nuremberg and Rostock between 2000 and 2007. Schmeken worked with what she found. Other than choosing to shoot in contrasty black and white – which she always does, anyway – and using a wide-angle lens, she employed no special tricks to successfully evoke the carnage that had taken place in these very nondescript locations.

Mehmet Turgut (25)
25.02.2004 Rostock Neudierkower Weg
, 2013



Süleyman Taşköprü (31)
27.06.2001 Hamburg Schützenstraße
, 2015




Born in 1955, Schmeken has been an editorial photographer for the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper since 1986 and is well known in Germany for her sport, dance, political reportage, and portrait photography.

Through her photographs – simply captioned with only the names of the dead, their ages, the dates and locations of the crimes – in the exhibition Regina Schmeken: Bloody Ground. Scenes of NSU Crimes at Martin-Gropius-Bau, the photographer seeks only to commemorate the victims of the murders, but the underlying message powerfully conveyed is that these abhorrent events could have happened on any German doorstep.

The dead numbered eight male victims of Turkish origin, another was Greek and one was a German policewoman. The trial of Beate Zschäpe, Ralf Wohlleben and the five others allegedly involved in their murders began in 2013 in Munich; the verdict is yet to be delivered.

All photographs © Regina Schmeken, courtesy Martin-Gropius-Bau


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Design | A Tribute to Willy Fleckhaus

Friday, May 19th, 2017

twen, No 2, 1962, cover.
Art direction Willy Fleckhaus
Photography Christa Peters
© MAKK



Willy Fleckhaus.
Design, Revolt, Rainbow
Museum Villa Stuck
Munich | Germany
1 June > 10 September 2017



Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin,
No 28, 1980, cover.
Art direction Willy Fleckhaus
Photographer unknown
© Hans Döring


Edition Suhrkamp,
Suhrkamp Verlag
Book series, 1963.
Design Willy Fleckhaus
© Carsten Wolff,
Fine German Design,
Frankfurt am Main

xxx



David Hillman: ‘In terms of design, twen was the most admired magazine of the sixties… [Fleckaus’s] utterly uncompromising attitude allowed his outrageous and defiant vision to be translated on to the page… No art director has had such power before or since.’

Willy Fleckhaus was born in 1925, and died in 1983. Willy Fleckhaus. Design, Revolt, Rainbow, at Museum Villa Stuck includes over 350 examples of work spanning his entire career in design, magazines and book publishing.

All images courtesy Museum Villa Stuck


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Photography | Juergen Teller: a Kind of Self-portrait

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No. 51
Chateau d’Ambleville 2015



Juergen Teller.
Enjoy Your Life!
Martin-Gropius-Bau
Berlin | Germany
Until 3 July 2017



Anne & Elisa, No. 1
Man About Town

Magazine cover,
spring/summer 2016



Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No. 70
Chateau d’Ambleville 2015



‘I hate nothing more than sugary photographs with tricks, poses and effects. So allow me to be honest and tell the truth about our age and its people.’ August Sander (1876 > 1964)

Juergen Teller was born in Germany, in the year that the great German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander died. Like Sander, he doesn’t idealise, and makes no effort to romanticise or prettify his subjects. His sincerity is infectious and the honesty of his approach to his work is inspiring. Nevertheless he likes to have fun, too. ‘What Helmut says goes, what Rei says goes, what Vivienne says goes, what Marc says goes… I take the whole thing seriously, but I couldn’t do a job where I didn’t have any fun, and just to make money,’ he told the Independent newspaper.

Photographing the actress Charlotte Rampling for Marc Jacobs’ 2004 advertising campaign, and including himself in some of the intimate shots – one showed Teller curling up in bed with Rampling, him sucking her toes – was the start of a close working relationship that led to their collaboration on a provocative series of images, involving his own nudity, that would become a book and an exhibition. In 2009, Teller was involved with Vivienne Westwood and Pamela Anderson for an ‘Everything ugly and beautiful at the same time’ campaign that also resulted in a book. Westwood, with whom he continued to work, would also appear, draped over a car on a dirt road, in Teller’s monograph, Keys To The House (2012). ‘In the wider sense, everything is a kind of self-portrait. It’s just the way you see things and how certain things rouse your curiosity and get you all excited,’ he has said. Kanye, Juergen & Kim, a later book published in 2015, contains a series he shot with Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian at Château d’Ambleville in France, but no château. Instead he chose to make the most of this rare opportunity alone with them away from the public gaze by capturing the couple – and himself – in seemingly private, intimate moments, out in the open countryside.

Love, Bataclan
Memorial

Paris 2016



My mother,
Plates/Teller, No. 174

2016



Having studied photography in Munich, and speaking no English, Teller had moved to London in 1986 and managed to find work shooting record covers. He photographed Sinéad O’Connor in 1990 then went on tour with Nirvana the following year. His image of Kate Moss for a British Vogue cover in 1994 launched his career as a fashion photographer and by 1996 his success earned him a solo exhibition at London’s Photographers’ Gallery, followed by work for Calvin, and later, Céline and Yves Saint Laurent. He had been involved in advertising campaigns for Marc Jacobs since 1998, his work becoming synonymous with the brand, and the subject of another book Marc Jacobs Advertising 1998 – 2009. His photography has featured in an array of influential international publications such including W Magazine and i-D.

Self-portrait
London 2015



Teller is one of a few artists since Robert Mapplethorpe – an exhibition of whose work he was recently invited to curate at Alison Jacques’ gallery in London – who has been able to straddle both the art world and that of commercial fashion photography.​ Woo, a retrospective of work, opened at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2013 and was the most well attended exhibition in the venue’s history. In 2014, his exhibition MACHO was staged at DESTE Foundation in Athens. His previous exhibitions include Man with Banana (2011), at Dallas Contemporary, Texas, and The Girl With the Broken Nose (2012) at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. His work is included in numerous collections around the world, including the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, International Center for Photography, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

There are some tricks, there are some poses, but his photography is never sugary, indeed his more personal work can have a very serious, poignant edge to it. What Teller sees and is interested in is essentially, what you get. His unique vision has led to him becoming regarded by many as one of the world’s great contemporary photographers.

Juergen Teller. Enjoy Your Life! was shown previously at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague. It’s now a must see at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

All images © Juergen Teller, courtesy Bundeskunsthalle


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Art | Drawing: a Place in Space

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Hermann Glöckner,
From the series: 3 Phases, 1980
Foldings, tempera on cardboard,
Deutsche Bank Collection
at
the Städel Museum,
Frankfurt am Main
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017



Into the Third Dimension:
Spatial Concepts on Paper from
the Bauhaus to the Present
Städel Museum
Frankfurt am Main | Germany
15 February > 14 May 2017



Globalisation has created a situation where, too often, the larger galleries and museums around the world choose to gather material from a wide variety of collections and private sources, which combine to produce blockbuster exhibitions that might have the advantage of being comprehensive, but lack any sense of place. This one is different.

Despite the work included having been produced by an international array of artists 13 artists, among them Argentine-born Lucio Fontana (founder, in Italy, in 1947 of the Spatialism (Spazialismo) movement), Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, and the American artists, Sol LeWitt, who produced countless spatialist works in the latter decades of the 20th century and on into the 21st, and James Turrell, who, during the same period used projected light to create illusionary geometric bodies, the vast majority of it is drawn from the Museum’s own extensive holdings, which gives the show a strong local flavour.

El Lissitzky
Proun. Kestner Portfolio 1
(sheet IV), 1923
Lithograph
Städel Museum,
Frankfurt am Main



Sol LeWitt
Distorted Cubes (B), 2001
Lino cut
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017



Eduardo Chillida
Yunque de sueños VII
(Anvil of Dreams VII),
1954 > 1959

Iron and wood,
Städel Museum,
Frankfurt am Main
© Zabalaga-Leku /
VG Bild-Kunst,
Bonn 2017



It had been the cubists, in Paris in the early 1900s, sticking pieces of newspaper, wallpaper, tickets and packaging on to the paper or canvas surfaces on which they were working, who pioneered the spatial concept, but they soon moved on to pursue other interests. El Lissitsky, a Russian, and Hungarian Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, however, while both based in Germany during the 1920s, experimented extensively with spatial ideas, producing work that would have enormous, international impact. Important examples of these from the Städel’s permanent collection including Lissitsky’s Proun (1923) portfolio of graphic works, and Moholy-Nagy’s Constellations (1923) portfolio of prints, are used as an introduction to the exhibition.

László Moholy-Nagy
Construction, 1924
Oil on canvas
Permanent loan of
Commerzbank AG,
Frankfurt am Main



The Museum is also displaying a selection of works by important German spatial art masters, Hermann Glöckner (1889-1987) and Norbert Kricke (1922–1984), who were both strongly influenced by constructivism. Glöckner, was one of former East Germany’s leading abstract artists, who, from 1935 started to create collage-like, folded pieces that tested the notion of a shallow pictorial solid and foreshadowed 1960s minimalism, while in post-war Düsseldorf, Kricke began producing sculptures made from welded together metal rods that reached out dynamically into space.

The Third Dimension: Spatial Concepts on Paper from the Bauhaus to the Present at the Städel Museum might be dominated by works on paper, but, of course, due to the nature of its subject, also features sculpture and even some paintings on canvas.

All photos Städel Museum – Artothek, Frankfurt am Main, courtesy Städel Museum


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Design | 100 Best German-Speaking Posters

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Striped Hills
Designed by Timo Lenzen, Germany
For Durex China, Shanghai
(via S-LAB, Beijing/Shanghai).
Digital print
© Timo Lenzen/100 Beste Plakate eV



100 Best Posters 15
Germany Austria Switzerland /
100 Beste Plakate 15
Deutschland Österreich Schweiz
MAK
Vienna | Austria
28 September 2016 > 5 February 2017



Hello Hello
Designed by Yvo Hählen
+ Priscilla Balmer, A3 studio, Switzerland

Commissioned by the artists.
Digital print
© A3 studio/100 Beste Plakate eV



More than 2000 were entered by 125 agencies and graphic design studios, 465 individual designers and 15 clients, and 964 posters made it through to the final round of the Vienna-based competition. In the true spirit of fairness which the organisers pride themselves upon, only two posters from Austria itself will appear in the 100-strong exhibition, along with 50 by Swiss designers and 48 from Germany.

Was glaubst du, wer du bist? /
Who do you think you are?
Designed by Günter Karl Bose
+ Uwe Langner,
LMN-Berlin, Germany
For Theater Bonn.
Digital print
© LMN-Berlin/100 Beste Plakate eV



Zwickl – Schwandorfer Dokumentarfilmtage 2015 /
Zwickl – Schwandorf documentary film days 2015
Designed by Oliver Hofmann + Benjamin Buchegger
+ Daniel Car, Beton – Gruppe für Gestaltung, Austria
For City of Schwandorf, Anne Schleicher.
Offset print
© Beton – Gruppe für Gestaltung/100 Beste Plakate eV



The most popular graphic design competition in the German-speaking world, the formidable jury consisting of chairman Gunter Rambow (Germany) , Günter Eder (Vienna) and Megi Zumstein (Lucerne), is augmented by Barcelona and Berlin-based, British designer Patrick Thomas, and Latvian-born, Igor Gurovich, graphic designer and tutor at the National Design Institute (Moscow).

Design x Taipei
Designed Jianping He, Hesign, Germany
For Taiwan Poster Association, Taipei.
Silk-screen print
© Hesign/100 Beste Plakate eV



Howlong Wolf
Design Isabelle Mauchle, Switzerland
For Neubad, Lucerne.
Digital print
© Isabelle Mauchle/100 Beste Plakate eV



According to Rambow, who has been designing since 1960, is a former professor of graphic design at the University of Kassel and of Visual Communication at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, and who regularly designs the posters for the Frankfurt Opera, the poster scene is on the move. New tendencies from youth culture are becoming visible, he says, and many graffiti sprayers have become designers. However, ‘Although they have always had intense competition, posters as images in public space will maintain their significance,’ he reassures us.

A catalogue for the MAK exhibition 100 Best Posters 15. Germany Austria Switzerland / 100 Beste Plakate 15. Deutschland Österreich Schweiz (Atlas 15), by Anita Kühnel will be available at the MAK Design Shop.

All images courtesy MAK


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Exhibition | Globalsportsfashionisation

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Walter Van Beirendonck
Cycling Trousers from
Crossed Crocodiles Growl Collection,
Antwerp A/W 2014




Sports / No Sports
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Hamburg | Germany
2 September 2016 > 20 August 2017



… A great many of the people wore sports clothes which were not really sports clothes. Their sweaters, knickers, slacks, blue flannel jackets with brass buttons were fancy dress. The fat lady in the yachting cap was going shopping, not boating; the man in the Norfolk jacket and Tyrolean hat was returning, not from a mountain, but an insurance office; and the girl in slacks and sneaks with a bandanna around her head had just left a switchboard, not a tennis court.
The Day of the Locust, Nathaneal West, 1939




Tom Ford
Sequin Dress,
New York A/W 2014
Hamburger Kunstsammlungen Foundation



With 110 items of clothing, models, sketches and looks, and including 40 brands, designers and couturiers, among others Adidas, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Chanel, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Maison Martin Margiela, Puma, Raf Simons, Speedo, Tom Ford, Triumph, Viktor & Rolf Atelier, Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition Sports / No Sports at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) explores the correlation between fashion and sportswear with a focus on social, formal and aesthetic contexts.

Images courtesy and © Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg


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Art | Richard Deacon: Thinking & Drawing

Friday, August 5th, 2016

10.03.12, 2012
Ink and pencil



Richard Deacon
Drawings and Prints 1968 > 2016
Museum Folkwang
Essen | Germany
26 August > 13 November 2016



Untitled, 1975
Pen, pencil and paper collage



2D drawing would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum to 3D sculpture. Indeed, internationally acclaimed British sculptor Richard Deacon has, alongside sketches and studies for his 3D pieces, from early on in his career that spans for decades, produced drawings independently from his sculpture work.



Landscape Division, 2012
Woodblock on kozo
paper, collaged on Arches
watercolour paper



Best known for the large, lyrical open forms of his compact and large scale sculptures, combining organic forms with elements of engineering, Deacon constantly reveals new interpretations of the relationship between the perception of inside and outside, and of what is open and closed.



Inside Out #2, 2013
Marker and ballpoint pen



Some Interference 7.08.05 (1), 2005
Ink and pencil



Passionate about drawing, and in keeping with his deep-rooted interest in philosophy, Deacon believes it has a close relationship to thinking. And his parallel disciplines are not wholly unconnected either, one discernibly influencing the other.



London #5, 1998
R-type print with collaged
drawing of ink and pencil



Almost all the 150 items in Richard Deacon Drawings and Prints 1968 > 2016, this first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the artist’s graphic works, at Essen’s Museum Folkwang, which includes a selection of prints, have never been shown in public before.

All work © Richard Deacon, courtesy Museum Folkwang


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Exhibitions | Visions of Architectopia

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Archigram (Ron Herron),
Instant City – Local parts, 1970
© Deutsches Architekturmuseum




Constant – New Babylon
Gemeentemuseum den Haag
The Hague | The Netherlands
> 25 September 2016

+

Superstudio 50
MAXXI Museum
Rome | Italy
> 4 September 2016

+

Yesterday’s Future
Visionary designs by Future Systems and Archigram
Deutsches Architekturmuseum / DAM
Frankfurt am Main | Germany
> 18 September 2016

+

Frederick Kiesler. Life Visions
Museum für angewandte Kunst / MAK
Vienna | Austria
> 2 October 2016




Frederick Kiesler,
View of the Raumstadt (City in Space), 1925,
Exposition internationale des Arts
décoratifs et industriels modernes, Paris, 1925
© 2016 Austrian Frederick and
Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, Vienna



Unconsciously coordinated and complementary, a cluster of exhibitions this summer in The Netherlands, Italy, and Austria, celebrates the utopian visions of Constant, Friedrich Kiesler, Superstudio, Future Systems and Archigram, respectively. Once considered outlandish, even silly, the avant garde experiments of these early and late twentieth century architect pioneers is exerting a strong influence on mainstream contemporary architecture and city planning.

Artist, designer, architect, set and exhibition designer with revolutionary, utopian concepts, Frederick Kiesler (1890>1965) was born in a remote corner of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire, (now Ukraine), and studied architecture and painting in Vienna, where, amongst luminaries that included Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, and Adolf Loos, he would become obsessed with the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk. Developing out of his experimental theatre ideas that dissolved the separation between spectators and actors and integrated both in a unified space, in his Raumstadt (City in Space) (1925) Kiesler proposed a model for the city of the future. Having drafted his Manifeste du Corréalisme during a trip to Paris, at the invitation of Marcel Duchamp and Andre Bréton, he wrote that the elements of construction – whether for a city, a chair, or a house – should be a ‘nucleus of possibilities’ developed and transformed in relation to its environment. In 1926, he relocated to New York, where he would eventually install a model of his Endless House at New York’s Museum of Modern Art 1960 show, Visionary Architecture. Meanwhile, Frederick Kiesler. Life Visions at Vienna’s Museum für angewandte Kunst / MAK, is a portal into Kiesler’s complex world and thought processes.

Future Systems (Jan Kaplický + Amanda Levete),
Manhattan with ‘Coexistence (Project 112)’
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1989
© Kaplicky Centre, Prague



With 44 exhibits from each group, Yesterday’s Future: Visionary designs by Future Systems and Archigram at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum / DAM focuses on detailed technical drawings, brightly coloured collages and original models. The works by Czech architect and founder of Future Systems, Jan Kaplický, who emigrated to London in 1968, date from the 1980s and 1990s and are juxtaposed against designs created 20 years before by the Archigram architectural group that comprised Peter Cook, Ron Herron, and Dennis Crompton. The space architecture by Archigram was created around the time of the Moon landing in an era shaped by new beginnings. In contrast, Future Systems designed its self-sufficient, machine-like living capsules for a gloomy world at the height of the Cold War. Whereas Archigram conceived organic architecture that ensured survival in inhospitable environments, Future Systems technologically sophisticated designs were located in more accessible natural surroundings or in concentrated, built-up cities. Intended as suggestions for living, working and for survival at times of social upheaval, the majority of the utopian designs by both groups never left the drawing board.

Installation at the exhibition
Adolfo Natalini Superarchitettura,
Galleria Jolly 2, Pistoia 1966
Photo C Toraldo di Francia
Superstudio 50, MAXXI Museum



Founded in 1966 by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, who were later joined by four others, Superstudio was one of the most influential groups in radical twentieth century Italian architecture. Superstudio 50 at Rome’s MAXXI Museum presents 200 items, ranging from installations to objects, from graphic works to photographs, with publications covering the entire career and development of the group. The exhibition includes the most important drawings, photomontages and installations from The Continuous Monument series (1969), the Architectural Histograms (1969-70) and The Twelve Ideal Cities (1971), projects through which the Superstudio attempted to demonstrate the possibilities and the limits of architecture, and were intended as a critique of contemporary society.

Constant Nieuwenhuys,
Klein Labyr, maquette, 1959
New Babylon, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag



Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920 > 2005), a leading member of the CoBrA group, expressed his ideas for a new world in New Babylon (1974), one of the largest and most visionary projects in post-war architectural history. The vast majority of the works associated with it are in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag collection, but have never before been displayed in all their diversity. Constant – New Babylon at Gemeentemuseum den Haag, including extensive documentation and reconstructions, is one of the largest exhibitions ever presented on this key work.

All images courtesy the respective exhibition venues


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Exhibition | Comic Strip Originals

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Charles Forbell, Naughty Pete,
The New York Herald, 23 October, 1913
Private collection



Pioneers of the Comic Strip
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Frankfurt | Germany
Until 18 September 2016



Lyonel Feininger, The Kin-der-Kids,
Sunday page, Chicago Tribune, 29 April 1906
Collection Achim Moeller, New York,
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016



It was the mass-produced, throwaway quality of comic book art that first attracted the interest of pop artists in the 1950s, who set about reproducing carefully selected details from them as large paintings. In consequence, wider attention was drawn toward the exceptional qualities of the original source of this inspiration: the newspaper comic strip. Countless millions of these were printed, and many more produced, but few from the trailblazing, early years have survived.

Cliff Sterrett, Polly and Her Pals, detail
13 November 1927
Private collection



Frank King, Gasoline Alley,
The Denver Post, 24 August, 1930
Private collection,
© Estate of Frank King



Although the format had existed in Britain since the early 1880s – Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, first published on 3 May 1884 is regarded as the first comic strip magazine to feature a recurring character – comic strips first began to appear in American newspapers in 1897, immediately captivating the middle and working classes, as well as fascinating newly arrived immigrants. Their success there in the early 20th century was integral to the meteoric rise of newspapers as mass media that, due to the development of high-performance printing presses and decreasing paper costs, became affordable for all US citizens.

Comic strips would gain such importance that the growth or decline of a newspaper became dependent on their popularity, and they became tactical weapons in the war between American media barons, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.

Winsor McCay, Little Nemo in Slumberland,
The New York Herald, 23 September, 1906
Private collection



Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt’s new exhibition, Pioneers of the Comic Strip, presents around 230 rare examples produced between 1905 and the 1940s, including original drawings, and features six outstanding, primarily American illustrators, who shaped the genre’s early history: Winsor McCay, Lyonel Feininger, Charles Forbell, Cliff Sterrett, George Herriman, and Frank King.

All images courtesy Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt


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