The quality of expressiveness – an outcry of the human soul against the mechanization of life – runs like a “red scar” through the entire history of modern art, down to the present day.
Fondation Beyeler is addressing this fundamental twentieth-century theme in an exhibition comprising about 200 paintings, sculptures and specimens of graphic art: EXPRESSIVE!.
The nucleus of our presentation will naturally be formed by historical Expressionism: Die Brücke, the artists group established in 1905 in Dresden (Kirchner, Heckel, and for a time, Nolde); the early Austrian Expressionists (Kokoschka, Schiele); and Der Blaue Reiter (Marc, Kandinsky) in Munich. Yet we will also look back to their predecessors, from the forefathers of Expressionism – El Greco, van Gogh, Gauguin – through Munch, Ensor and Modersohn-Becker, down to the French Fauves (Derain, Matisse). Also represented will be the successors of classical Expressionism, both from the interwar period (Beckmann, Soutine, Picasso) and of the postwar years (Dubuffet, de Kooning, Bacon).
Then EXPRESSIVE! will proceed by way of Neo-Expressionism (Baselitz, Lüpertz, Lassnig) to the New Wild Painters or Neo-Fauves of the 1980s (Clemente, Basquiat, Disler). The review will be rounded off by the art of Bourgeois and a 1990s video installation by Nauman. Like previous Fondation Beyeler exhibitions, the present one, with its outstanding works and surprising conception, promises to be an intriguing illustration of a central theme in modern art.
The catalogue contains essays by Donald Kuspit, on the overarching theme of “the expressive,” and Markus Brüderlin, on Expessionism from the viewpoint of Neo-Expressionism, as well as considerations of individual major works. German and English, 208 pages with 155 plates, of which 153 in colour, soft cover, CHF 58.–.
The catalogue can be ordered in the Art Shop.