Beauty. Lehmbruck & Rodin – Masters of Modernism

Duration: 23 March to 18 August 2019

“A crime […] against art,” “hysterical deformation” or “the most perfect thing sculpture has produced in years”: the works of sculptors Auguste Rodin and Wilhelm Lehmbruck divided the critical minds of their time. Today they are regarded as masters of modernism and their works as icons of 20th century sculpture.

“What is beautiful?” is one of the most frequently asked questions in art. Presenting masterpieces by the monumental artists Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Auguste Rodin, the exhibition shows the paradigm shift in modern sculpture. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s death it provides an overview of all creative periods of the two artists. It demonstrates how the two artists in different ways shaped a new idea of beauty, one that determines the human image of modernism to this day.

The exhibition does not unfold along strictly chronological lines but highlights instead moments in which a new development emerges and illustrates how the ideas that had emerged are reflected in later artworks and artistic practices. In incisive settings, works by contemporaries and later artists such as Alexander Archipenko, Hans (Jean) Arp, Joseph Beuys, Constantin Brancusi, Antoine Bourdelle, Alfred Boucher, Camille Claudel, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Henri Matisse, George Minne or Thomas Schütte are juxtaposed with the works of the two main protagonists, illustrating how influential their artistic solutions were not only at the time of their creation but also today. Comprising more than a hundred works and loans from national and international museums like the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Musée Rodin in Paris, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, or the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, this exhibition project offers a number of major exhibits.