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Josef Scharl

Between Times
17 June – 21 October 2018


At the boundary between expressionism and New Objectivity

The Munich painter Josef Scharl (1896–1954) is one of the most significant artists of the Weimar Republic. Working at the boundary between expressionism and New Objectivity, he created a painterly oeuvre that emphatically reflects the political and social distortions of the interwar years.

His portraits, figural images and landscapes combine criticism with empathy, soberness with pathos, and austerity with ornament. Fascinated by Vincent van Gogh’s brushwork, in the 1920s Scharl developed an unmistakably vivid pictorial language. Thanks to a relief-like application of paint and a tendency to frontally isolate his figures, Scharl’s portraits in particular obtain a remarkable presence – the beggars, bourgeoisie and warmongers of the Weimar Republic face us as contemporaries. The exhibition Between Times – a collaborative project with the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen – brings together around fifty of Scharl’s main works from important public and private collections. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue (Wienand Verlag, 120 pages, German, €25).

September 2018