The Human Beast: German Expressionism at The San Diego Museum of Art highlights the recent bequest of 48 German Expressionist paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints from the Estate of Vance E. Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger along with works from the Museum’s permanent collection. A total of approximately 80 works of art is on display starting 21 July 2012.
The exhibition, dedicated to the modernist movement that developed in Germany and Austria in the first decades of the twentieth century, offers a broad survey of German Expressionism. Expressionism was not the work of a single, closely associated group of artists, but, rather, it is a movement associated with painters, sculptors, and printmakers in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, and Vienna who were united by common interests and artistic styles. Together, they created art that explored themes such as primitivism, raw emotion, the solace of nature, the terror of the First World War, and the social chaos of Weimar Germany. Depictions of unidealized nudes and of prostitution are likewise typical of the Expressionists’ attempt to evoke primal emotion. The Human Beast explores the complexity of these themes.
Major new acquisitions from the Kondon-Giesberger bequest include paintings by Otto Dix, Gabriele Münter, and Max Pechstein, as well as watercolors and drawings by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Ernst Kirchner, and Emil Nolde. These join a strong group of Expressionist paintings and drawings that have long been at the Museum, among which works by Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, Max Beckmann, and George Grosz are particularly notable. A small group of loans rounds out the selection, allowing the Museum to tell a comprehensive story of German Expressionism.
San Diego Museum of Art Website
Please clcik here for a major Culturekiosque art review on German Expressionist art entitled, 'Sex, Glitter and Doom in the Weimar Republic.'