Some 120 works of art from the renowned Horn Collection are on view.
This private collection from Germany holds a unique set of works by Expressionist artists: from Emil Nolde to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to Käthe Kollwitz. Combined with the works of the Kirchner Museum Davos, they offer a many-faceted look at one of the most radical and innovative art movements of the twentieth century.
A First-rate Collection Opens up New Perspectives
The outstanding collection of Expressionist art of the Rolf Horn Foundation is coming to Switzerland for the first time. In more than sixty years of collecting, Bettina and Rolf Horn have focused on the work of the Brücke artists and their contemporaries. Their collection comprises hundreds of works by well-known artists such as Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Alexej von Jawlensky, Käthe Kollwitz, Ernst Barlach, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, Max Pechstein, and Otto Mueller.
In Davos, this unique collection is combined with the artworks of the Kirchner Museum. The dialogue between the museum’s collection and the Horn Collection provides a unique overview of the various artistic practices within Expressionism and, in doing so, opens up entirely new perspectives.
Contemporary Social Discourse
One focus of the exhibition is on the socio-critical aspects of Expressionism. The works on display reflect a time of intense social and aesthetic change. Urbanization and industrialization shaped Expressionist art, as did the First World War. The Expressionists responded with a radical reinterpretation of the nude and nature and turned their attention to non-European worlds. This also led to friction and contradictions in the artists' worldviews. The exhibition examines their attitudes and desires and relates them to current social issues.
The Curatorial Committee
From today's perspective, some of the works in the exhibition are highly problematic. This is true, for example, of depictions of the colonial “other,” of rural life, and gender. Some works bear titles that are clearly pejorative, even racist, by today’s standards. The Kirchner Museum Davos takes this issue seriously and created a curatorial committee this past summer to subject the museum and its collection to close scrutiny. This committee consisting of Kadiatou Diallo, Katharina Morawek, and Rohit Jain will accompany the museum’s exhibitions in the coming years.
A multi-year, open-ended process
How can we preserve our enthusiasm for Expressionism without turning a blind eye to uncomfortable social and historical truths? What curatorial means can we come up with to suitably present modernist art for future generations? At the Kirchner Museum, these and other questions are to be discussed in depth in the coming years together with the curatorial committee. The audience is to be involved in this debate as well.
“Expressionism! Works from the Horn Collection” opens officially on Sunday, February 12, 2023. Anyone interested is invited to attend the exhibition opening at the Kirchner Museum starting at 11 a.m.
Comm. & Réd. (K. Arbane) partir-magazine.com