220413: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Last works – from Manet to Kippenberger

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Last works – from Manet to Kippenberger 28.02.2013 – 02.07.2013 Last Order By Daniela Gregori “Time, Gentlemen please” is the title that Oskar Kokoschka gave his last painting in 1972 – with the ironic inflection of the last order in the evening in an English pub. What else should follow besides this final call? The good man was 85 years old and had been everything from an enfant terrible to a celebrated sonorous artist. One can hardly identify the man at the easel, but one does recognise the powerfully and freely painted ageless likeness of the artist on the almost lit up canvas – a painting as a final statement. After this and until his death in 1980, Kokoschka solely devoted himself to his graphic oeuvre. How should one react when the end is near? Can “Last works” be subsumed for stylistic commonalities, is there a strategy? Do these works pursue the continuity of an oeuvre or is there a break, a new view, technique, either actively employed or forced by the situation? Esther Schlicht, the curator of the exhibition “Last works – from Manet to Kippenberger” in the Frankfurt Schirn had done well to raise all of these questions without offering a generally valid answer. Instead, she lets the 14 different positions, arranged as informal pairs, speak for themselves. Claude Monet’s water lilies for example – his late work which seems to loose itself in the diffuse light on the water’s surface, encounters small flower arrangements in glass vases that 50-year Edouard Manet left as his late work. And while Henri Matisse, in defiance to all physical deficiencies, created an extremely successful working phase with paper and scissors in his wheel chair, art critics refused to recognize Willem de Koonings’s works after he was confined by increasing dementia. Giorgio de Chirico looked back on his work with humour and not even Andy Warhol knew that paraphrases to Leonardo’s Last Supper would finalize his work abruptly. These constellations were created in a considerate and clever way, they invite to generate associations and accord the exhibition concept a certain cohesion. Georgia O’Keefe’s last works are almost boisterously happy. Flying only became a new experience for her at a late stage in her life. The colour gradient of the sky above the clouds and the broadness of the landscape seen from up above let the artist start all over again. Later, at the age of 90, when she increasingly lost her eyesight, she said “I can see what I paint. That what lets one be creative, is still there”. But didn’t already Plato let Socrates say: “The eye of the soul only then begins to see clearly when the bodily already loses its acuity." Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Römerberg email: welcome@schirn.de http://www.schirn.de Opening hours: Tue – Sun 11.00 – 19.00 hours, Wed – Sat 11.00 – 22.00 hours

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
60311 Frankfurt am Main, Römerberg
Email: welcome@schirn.de
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So 11.00-19.00 Uhr, Mi - Sa 11.00-22.00 uhr

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