170510: Kunsthalle Krems Paula Modersohn-Becker, Pioneer of Modernism

Kunsthalle Krems Paula Modersohn-Becker, Pioneer of Modernism 14.03.10 – 04.07.10 “Mouths like wounds, expression like cretins” If Paula Modersohn-Becker had been a man, the florid style of literature in her time would have described her as a titan. In a time span of only 10 years she created 750 paintings and 1,000 drawings: this representing not only an extensive oeuvre but foremost a visionary one. Modersohn-Becker died at the age of 31. The Kunsthalle Krems is currently showing 85 of her paintings and 60 drawings thereby closing a gap, as Modersohn-Becker’s works have never been presented in a solo exhibit in Austria before. Modersohn-Becker’s “self portrait on the occasion of her 6th wedding anniversary” (1906) was duly honoured at the Kunsthalle Krems: according to the catalogue this was the first nude self-portrait of a woman in art history, is very impressive, not only on account of its art historical significance. And her children’s portraits are equally groundbreaking: the little ones appear as bored, introverted, and sometimes like miniature monsters: Her husband, the mannerly and rather boring Otto Mendelsohn, lamented that they had “hands like spoons, noses like cobs, mouths like wounds, expressions like cretins”. Indeed: an infant with a hanging lip staring blankly, a small girl with an oversized ear appears as if she had just emerged from a nightmare: an absolute antithesis to a genre, which seduced so many artists to create much too pleasurable and kitschy works. The exhibition clearly shows that Modersohn-Becker liberated herself from the influence of Nabis or Munch in her last years. She described her early paintings, which she created in Worpswede, as “dark and saucy” and worked hard on her own and unmistakable style. One or the other conventional still life or landscape could have been omitted from this exhibition, which is definitely worth seeing. But in any case they demonstrate the genesis of her oeuvre. By Nina Schedlmayer Kunsthalle Krems 3500 Krems, Franz –Zeller-Platz 3 Tel: + 43 2732 90 80 10 Fax: +43 2731 90 80 10 email: office@kunsthalle.at http://www.kunsthalle.at

Kunsthalle Krems
3500 Krems, Franz-Zeller-Platz 3
Tel: +43-2732 90 80 10, Fax: +43-2732 90 80 11
Email: office@kunstalle.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So und Mo wenn Feiertag 10-18 Uhr; in den Wintermonaten 10-17 Uh

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