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In the Network of Modernism. Kirchner, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee ... Richter, Bacon, Altenbourg and their critic Will Grohmann

Invitation to a press conference at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 in the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, Entrance: Brühlsche Terrasse

Please note
The date cited in the Save-the-date notice on 20 July 2012 has been changed!
The press conference will take place not on Tuesday, 25 September, but on Wednesday, 26 September 2012.

Dr. Hartwig Fischer, Director-General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Dr. Konstanze Rudert, Curator of the exhibition
Friederike Tappe-Hornbostel, Head of Communications at the Kulturstiftung des Bundes
Dr. Martin Hoernes, Deputy Secretary-General of the Kulturstiftung der Länder
Wolfgang Wittrock, President of the Ferdinand-Möller-Stiftung

In the Network of Modernism. Kirchner, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee ... Richter, Bacon, Altenbourg and their critic Will Grohmann
An exhibition by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
27 September 2012 – 6 January 2013
Venue: Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau
Opening hours: daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed on Mondays

For more than five decades he was a key figure on the European art scene, and anyone who is interested in artists such as Kirchner, Kandinsky or Klee is bound to come across his name: Will Grohmann (1887–1968), one of the most influential German art critics of the 20th century. To mark the 125th anniversary of his birth, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are holding a major exhibition in his honour at the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, with Bernd Neumann MdB, Minister of State for Culture and the Media, acting as patron. This project has been made possible through the joint funding provided by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Ferdinand-Möller-Stiftung and the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.

Will Grohmann’s reviews shaped art history, and his monographs and catalogues raisonnées remain standard works to this day. He discovered artists and promoted them, and he used his relations with artists, gallery owners, museums, the media and the public to shape the perception of modern art like no other figure in Germany. Over the course of many years of wide-ranging research, the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Konstanze Rudert, has analysed around 80,000 documents left by the critic, which are held in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. These documents include correspondence with more than 2,500 partners and testify to Grohmann’s unique network, his enormous productivity as an author and his exceptional sense of artistic judgement.

Presenting more than 200 works by artists promoted by Will Grohmann, the exhibition demonstrates the development of art and the formation of the canon of modern art in the 20th century. The spectrum ranges from the Brücke group and the Bauhaus to Art Informel. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and a video installation by modern artists – including numerous important loans from public and private collections in Brazil, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the USA. Works from Grohmann’s private collection and from the collection of classical modern art that was formerly held in Dresden and which Grohmann was instrumental in assembling, but which was almost entirely lost as a result of the Nazi campaign against ‘degenerate art’, will also be on display in Dresden again for the first time since 1933. Media stations with multi-touch applications developed in association with the Technische Universität Dresden and the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft are integrated into the exhibition architecture. They guide visitors through the exhibition, whilst bringing Grohmann and his era to life in a virtual world. For example, the legendary 1946 “General German Art Exhibition” in Dresden, of which Will Grohmann was the ‘spiritus rector’, is reconstructed in the form of a 3-D animation.

The varied programme of accompanying events includes readings, concerts, panel discussions, film showings and lectures dealing with many themes connected with the exhibition – such as the Dresden Secession, Grohmann and the Brücke group, the Bauhaus and Abstraction – as well as investigating his interest in dance and music and his role as a critic and agent. In association with the Academy of Arts in Berlin, an international colloquium will be held in Dresden and Berlin from 3 – 5 December under the title “Der Kritiker ist für die Kunst” (The Critic is for Art), at which the function of art criticism then and now will be discussed. 

For the duration of the exhibition, refreshments will be available at “Café Zuntz” in the foyer of the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau. This is in commemoration of the Dresden café of the same name which was located on Prager Straße and was legendary as a meeting place for Dresden artists during the 1920s.
We kindly invite you to attend the press conference at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 September.
To assist us with the organisation of this event, please briefly inform us whether you plan to attend by sending an email to:

Read the press release as pdf.

Dr. Stephan Adam
Pressesprecher und Leiter Kommunikation
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Postfach 12 05 51
01006 Dresden                                                      
Tel. ++49-351-49 14 2643
Fax ++49-351-49 14 2366

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