Stargazers and philosophers
The artist and poet Ludwig Meidner (Bernstadt 1884–1966 Darmstadt) is one of the fascinating adventurers of classical modernism. His work – a mirror of social upheaval and personal crisis – is impressive in its passion, sensibility and wilfulness.
The emphasis of the exhibition is Meidner’s output during the 1910s: explosive pre-war “Apocalyptic Landscapes”, haunting portraits and self-portraits, tension-filled street and coffeehouse scenes, mysterious likenesses of the prophets.
The exhibition presents Meidner’s art in dialogue with major works by Ernst Barlach, and brings together two masters of German expressionism still generally seen as opposites. Beyond the cliché of Meidner the urban rebel and Barlach the pious recluse, this selection opens up a view of both artists’ complex view of humanity – and reveals some remarkable parallels.
With loans from important museums and private collections, the exhibition will go on view at the Städtische Kunsthalle Recklinghausen following its presentation at the Ernst Barlach Haus. The accompanying book with text contributions and selected prose by Ludwig Meidner and Ernst Barlach is published by Kerber Verlag.