German Expressionism from the Detroit Institute of Arts Opens at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts October 19, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Opening October 19, 2012, German Expressionism from the Detroit Institute of Arts will be on view in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ Upper-Level Galleries through February 10, 2013. Featuring paintings, sculpture and works on paper from the Detroit Institute of Arts’ distinguished collection of German Expressionist art, the exhibition explores the full breadth of this artistic movement from 1905 to 1950 and includes works by Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Kathe Kollwitz, Franz Marc and other major masters.
One of the major movements in modern art, German Expressionism is known for two groups of painters: Die Brucke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Die Brucke was founded in Dresden by four young architecture students who worked and exhibited together. Although not formally trained as artists, the members of Die Brücke developed the movement’s distinctive style which is defined by vivid colors, distorted forms and vigorous brush strokes. “The artists of Die Brucke sought a more intuitive form of expression,” explains Frist Center curator Trinita Kennedy. “Following in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, they focused on conveying psychological states and emotions rather than outward appearances, which became the fundamental premise of German Expressionism.”
Der Blaue Reiter was founded in Munich by Russian emigre Wassily Kandinsky and German Franz Marc. The group was a loosely organized international association of older, academically trained artists. “What united Der Blaue Reiter was a strong interest in color theory, spiritual values, the relationship between visual art and music, and a tendency toward abstraction,” Ms. Kennedy notes.
The outbreak of World War I and the subsequent rise of Germany’s National Socialist (Nazi) party had drastic consequences for German Expressionism. The Nazis began a destructive campaign of vilification against modern art, claiming that it didn’t conform to “healthy” Aryan values. The infamous Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937 featured over 700 works of modern art, including Otto Mueller’s Gypsy Encampment, which is on view in this exhibition. Thousands of other modern artworks were destroyed by the Nazi regime.
The Detroit Institute of Arts acquired its significant German Expressionism collection largely under the guidance of director W. R. Valentiner, a German art historian. “After befriending Franz Marc during his service in the Germany army in World War I, Valentiner became deeply engaged with the art of his own time,” says Ms. Kennedy. “He befriended many German artists, and made great efforts to support their work and secure exhibitions for many of them in the United States. This exhibition is comprised as much of tokens of friendship as it is extraordinary works of art.”
This exhibition was organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Member Preview Sponsor: Dickinson Wright
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The Frist Center for the Visual Arts gratefully acknowledges our Picasso Circle Members as Exhibition Patrons.
Belmont University and Ocean Way Recording Studios donated recording time and professional expertise in the production of this audio tour.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5-9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Cafe opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at www.fristcenter.org.
SOURCE Frist Center for the Visual Arts