12 May to 22 September 2013
The new presentation of works from the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection gives a broad view of the various facets that went to make up constructivist and concrete painting in the early years of abstraction, and traces out in exemplary fashion their continued development after the Second World War up to the present. This medley of currents in the early avant-gardes reflects the many ways in which artists sought a primal art: some developed a sign-like, at times lyrical rendering of the material world and took as their guide classic motifs, such as the figure or landscape; others, on the other hand, strived to arrive by means of pure colours, forms and structures at an objective visual language which, due to its range of practical applications across the genres, could be claimed to have universal validity. It is notable that after 1918, the avant-gardes forged an international network and exchanged ideas at exhibitions, in their journals and their schools. Consequently this presentation brings together the Dutch De Stijl movement, the Russian and East European constructivists, the French and Italian abstractionists, the Bauhaus, and the abstract artists of Hanover.
Against this historical backdrop, the painters from 1950s onwards turned their attention to new issues: their interest was now directed for instance to the possibilities of lending visual dynamism to the surfaces of the canvas, or to creating systems-based images using computers, or to transforming shaped canvases into visual objects.
Artists in the exhibition include:
Josef Albers, Henryk Berlewi, Max Bill, Bob Bonies, Andreas Brandt, Sonia Delaunay, Rolf-Gunter Dienst, Theo van Doesburg, Johannes Itten, Rudolf Jahns, Cathy Jardon, El Lissitzky, Vera Molnar, Leon Polk Smith, Atanasio Soldati, Victor Vasarely
Leon Polk Smith, Diagonal passage, 1947 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013