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Sat 26 February - Sun 15 May 2011
An exhibition presented by the Harvard Art Museum / Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in conjunction with Berlin's Kupferstichkabinett and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich.
Harvard Art Museums are the initiators behind this twin retrospective dedicated to the German-American painter and draughtsman, Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956). The show will first go on display on 26 February 2011 in the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings), Berlin before travelling to Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne.
The 77 watercolours and drawings selected here provide an illuminating overview of Feininger's development as an artist, from his early days around 1890, through to the time spent in Paris before the First World War, all the way up to his years at the Bauhaus and his subsequent exile in the USA. As a leading figure of high modernist art, his works were declared 'degenerate art' by the Nazis and publicly defamed in 1937 in the eponymous exhibition first held in Munich. Shortly before it opened Feininger emigrated to the USA.
Together with the many drawings and four paintings on display, taken from the years 1912 to 1926, a separately conceived show containing some 76 of his photographs will also go on display, revealing this aspect of Feininger's work for the first time in Germany. The photographs mostly originate from his time at the Bauhaus in Dessau and subsequent exile and form an obvious dialogue with the compositions in his paintings, drawings and prints in which contrasts of light and shadow dominate along with architectural elements. The fact they are unusual snapshots of reality, however, means that these photographs are charged with a unique and haunting sense of alienation.
Harvard University Museums/Cambridge, USA