Der Sturm: Exhibition celebrates one of Germany’s most important galleries

Posted filed underGalleries, Germany, Shows.

With the opening of the gallery “Der Sturm” in 1912, Herwarth Walden marked a new chapter in the fascinating history of modern art. Until 1928 the gallery remained an important center for the avant-garde movements and one of the most important galleries in Germany which became a spiritual home for all the most prominent contemporary groups of artists such as the “Blaue Reiter”, the futurists, kubists and the new constuctivists. However, “Der Sturm” was not only a place for the display of most recent contemporary art but also a place for the teaching of art and experimental performances. The gallery organized readings and modern music evenings and since 1910 already Herwarth Walden published the famous magazine “Der Sturm” which had become the central forum of discussion for all the ideas and tendencies within modern art, music and poetry. The most famous artists of the early 20th century presented their work in the gallery: Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Macke, Marc, Delaunay, Chagall as well as Schlemmer, Baumeister, Moholy-Nagy, the writers Alfred Döblin, Theodor Däubler and August Stramm and well-known composers such as Schönberg, Schreyer and Walden himself. “Der Sturm” was a field of experiments and a synthesis of the different kinds of arts that exuded its influence on the whole of Europe. However, the magazine “Der Sturm” and the gallery were not only the spiritual center of Berlin – for more than 20 years they were also an important art center for Europe. “Der Sturm” was also firmly rooted in Wuppertal and the Rhineland, for Herwarth Walden’s first wife was the famous expressionist poet and draughtwoman, Else Lasker-Schüler, who lived in Wuppertal at a time when the avant-garde movement was already present in the Rhineland and in the art and museum society of Wuppertal-Barmen under the directorate of Richart Reiche. Else Lasker-Schüler and Herwarth Walden were in close contacts with the “Blaue Reiter” group and the rebellious cercle of artists in Vienna around Karl Kraus, Adolf Loos and Oskar Kokoschka. Only fragments of the history of “Der Sturm” have so far been revealed. The exposition in the Von der Heydt-Museum, exactly 100 years after the foundation of the gallery, will help to present the importance of “Der Sturm” for the history of 20th century art in a more complexe way. The show is a cooperation between the Von der Heydt-Museum and the Institute for art history of the Heinrich-Heine-University Dusseldorf. More than 30 art historians have intensively investigated into the varied aspects of “Der Sturm”. The outcome of their researches will be published in the comprehensive exhibition catalogue. Great museums from all around the world will send their works to the exhibition at the Von der Heydt-Museum, to name only a few: the Berlinische Galerie Berlin, the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Thyssen- Bornemisza Museum Madrid, the National Gallery Washington.

Image above: Restorer Sabine Hermes wearing magnifying glasses as she examines the artwork ‘Die Soldatenbraut’ (The Soldier’s Bride) by Russian artist Michail Larionow during a press preview of the exhibition ‘Der Sturm – Zentrum der Avantgarde’ (lit. The Storm – Center of the Avant-garde) at the Von der Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal, Germany. The exhibition opens to the public from 13 March until 10 June. EPA/HORST OSSINGER.