Women: Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann & Willem de Kooning in Munich

Posted filed underModernism, Shows, Women.


In March 2012, Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne will host the first major exhibition exploring the role of the female figure in the works of three of the most influential artists of the 20th century. »Women. Max Beckmann, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning« will bring together around 100 works from international institutions such as the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, the Tate Gallery, London, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre, Paris as well as loans from private collections which have never been on public display before. The Pinakothek der Moderne, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012, holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Max Beckmann works in the world. This landmark exhibition will shed new light on the work of Beckmann, Picasso and de Kooning by exploring the role attributed to women in their art. The show will set aside familiar clichés about the artists’ private lives and their relationships to women to allow for a more dispassionate analysis of the female figure as a subject matter in their work. In doing so, women become more than mere projections of male fantasies and desires and instead gain an extraordinary significance of their own. In the work of Picasso, for instance, women often act as a mirror for the problems and turmoils of his time, whereas in Beckmann’s work the female figure seems to represent otherworldly freedom which contrasts with the stark realities of the world around him. The exhibition will bring together some of the most exceptional portraits of women painted by the three artists and place them in dialogue with one another. Curator, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann explains, »Unlike common views and interpretations in art history, the works of Picasso, Beckmann and de Kooning represent free and emancipated women. Their works show the power of art: they still do provoke us today where pornographic images are part of our visual culture. This means that the works reach us on a deeper level and show the strength of art.« Lenders and Catalogue This exhibition of around 100 paintings consists of works from major international museums including The Metropolitan Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Saint Louis Art Museum; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Tate Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Musée d‘Orsay, Paris; Kunstmuseum Basel; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen; and private collections. A comprehensively illustrated, interdisciplinary catalogue in German and English will also be published, and will contain contributions by Siri Hustvedt, Richard Shiff, Feridun Zaimoğlu, Uwe M. Schneede, Michael Köhlmeier, Elisabeth Bronfen, Doris Dörrie and Carla Schulz-Hofmann.

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Photo: EPA/ANDREAS GEBERT.