Wilhelm Morgner (1891–1917) was an exceptional talent. Self-taught and unresting, at barely 20 years of age he took part in exhibitions at the Neue Sezession in Berlin, the Blauer Reiter in Munich and the Sonderbund in Cologne, and is today considered the main figure of Westphalian expressionism.
Morgner's astonishing development was abruptly ended by the First World War – his painterly work, which came about in only four years and mostly in large formats, traces remarkable motivic and stylistic arcs between tradition and avant-garde, figuration and abstraction, Vincent van Gogh and Keith Haring. This presentation of Morgner in Hamburg – the first outside Westphalia for almost 25 years – follows the stormy ups and downs in which Morgner pressed ahead with his art. Alongside impressive paintings from the Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus in Soest, the exhibition also includes a selection of self-portrait drawings. These too show the young artist as an uncompromising seeker.
In a obituary to his fallen friend, the writer Theodor Däubler described Morgner's development as a path 'towards the immeasurable Perhaps!' and his work as 'spring-like promise': a potential to be discovered.
The exhibition is accompanied by a richy illustrated catalogue (96 pages, German, hardcover).