“The Abstract Eclosion” at IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern

“The Abstract Eclosion” is one of the latest exhibitions at the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, which explores the many faces of abstract art, ranging from early works to contemporary artists, comprising pictorial art as well as sculpture, installations and more theoretical approaches.

 

Luis Gordillo, Serie Limo 1991 © IVAM

Luis Gordillo, Serie Limo 1991 © IVAM

 

IVAM’s latest exhibition focuses on abstraction, looking at artists who understand line and colour as elements of a visual language equivalent to the function that words and sentences play in written or spoken language. A language whose aim is not so much to describe or narrate a specific situation as to produce sensations, experiences or emotions that are like a musical composition, a sequence of tones, rather than a descriptive narrative.

The exhibition, named La eclosión de la abstracción. Línea y color en la colección del IVAM (The Birth of Abstraction. Line and Colour in the IVAM Collection) includes a number of artists such as Antoni Tapiès, Luis Gordillo, James Turrell, Pierre Soulages and Lucio Fontana, among others.  (more…)

Lyonel Feininger retrospective at Fundación Juan March

The exhibition offers a complete survey of the career of this German-American artist, Bauhaus teacher and key figure in the context of the artistic avant-gardes.

 

Feininger, Lyonel (1951) Lunar Web  © Fundación Juan March

Feininger, Lyonel (1951) Lunar Web © Fundación Juan March

 

From February 17, the Fundación Juan March presents a retrospective on Lyonel Feininger, the German-American artist from the early twentieth century, in its gallery space in Madrid. The exhibition, named Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), continues the Juan March’s long-established strategy of presenting insufficiently explored artists, periods and aspects of modern culture, can be described as a “concentrated retrospective” of the artist’s work.


 

Practical information 

“Lyonel Feininger (1871 – 1956)”
February 17 – May 28, 2017
Fundación Juan March. Sede Madrid
Calle de Castelló, 77 Madrid
Spain

 


Nearly 400 works from public and private collections in Europe and the United States will be used to construct a survey of Feininger’s artistic activities, articulated around the different media in which he worked (drawing, graphic work, painting, photography and toy-making) and the principal themes within his oeuvre: caricature and satirical drawings; key places that inspired him, including Paris, Deep, Halle, Gelmeroda and Manhattan; and his recurring interest in bridges, towers, sea views and urban life.

 

Andreas feininger, Gelmeroda VIII, 1921. Whitney Museum of American Art, Nueva York. © Whitney Museum, N.Y.

Andreas feininger, Gelmeroda VIII, 1921. Whitney Museum of American Art, Nueva York. © Whitney Museum, N.Y.

 

The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition will be the first monograph on Feininger in Spanish, with essays and texts by some of the most reputed experts on his work, including Wolfgang Büche, Ulrich Luckhardt, Maurizio Scudiero, Heinz Widauer, Peter Selz, Achim Moeller, Danilo Curti-Feininger, Martin Faass and Sebastian Ehlert. To complement the catalogue there will also be a semi-facsimile complementary publication La ciudad en los confines del mundo [City at the Edge of the World], originally published in 1965 in English and German, with texts by the painter T. Lux Feininger and photographs by Andreas Feininger, two of the artist’s three sons.

 

Andreas Feininger, Nude Study [solarized], 1941  ©  2017 Estate of Andreas Feininger

Andreas Feininger, Nude Study [solarized], 1941 © 2017 Estate of Andreas Feininger

ABOUT LYONEL FEININGER

Feininger was born in New York but his parents, both musicians of German origin, sent him to Hamburg at the age of sixteen to complete his musical training. This dual German-American background would leave a permanent mark on his life and work.

In Germany, Feininger decided to give up music in order to devote himself to his true passion: drawing and illustration. After attending drawing classes at the Algemeine Gewerbeschule [Public School of Arts and Crafts] in Hamburg he focused on the emerging field of comics, in which he would be a pioneering figure. Feininger’s comic strips were soon published, albeit sporadically, in American and German magazines. He became fully established when he signed contracts with the German magazine Ulk in 1895, Lustige Blätter[Funny Pages] the following year, and The Chicago Sunday Tribune in 1906. For the latter Feininger created The Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie’s World, his most famous comic strips.
Cover from The Chicago Sunday Tribune with a satyrical image of Lyonel Feininger, 29 de abril de 1906. Colección Achim Moeller, Nueva York

Cover from The Chicago Sunday Tribune with a satyrical image of Lyonel Feininger, 29 de abril de 1906. Colección Achim Moeller, Nueva York

Having made his name as an illustrator, Feininger moved forward creatively with the aim of finding a means of expression that would allow him to fully express his abilities. In a natural, progressive manner he began to move away from comics in favour of painting.

While his earliest works maintain links with comic design, depicting street scenes and exaggerated characters, between 1906 and 1908 and following a period in Paris, he began to make use of a more abstract line, almost completely abandoning figures and adopting a language based on straight lines and fragmented planes of colour.

 

Andreas Feininger (1946) self-portrait  © LIFE

Andreas Feininger (1946) self-portrait © LIFE

Andreas Feininger (1955) The Photojournalist © MoMa /  2017 Estate of Andreas Feininger

Andreas Feininger (1955) The Photojournalist © MoMa / 2017 Estate of Andreas Feininger

 

In 1919 Walter Gropius invited Feininger to join the Bauhaus and direct the printmaking studio, where he taught until the school was closed down by the Nazis in 1932. This experience led him to fully develop his use of the technique of woodcut, allowing him to develop the interaction of spatial planes in his paintings. Following the rise to power of the Nazi regime Feininger’s work was classed as “degenerate”. In 1937 he decided to return to the United States where he spent the rest of his life.

 

News source and text: Fundación Juan March
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