Nature exhibition on the Franz Marc Museum Kochel | EUROtoday

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Der Hund Russi, der kleine Kater Rudi, sogar zwei zahme Rehe gehörten zum Hausstand von Franz Marc. Er hat sie, wie viele andere Tiere auch, immer wieder gemalt, hat sie, überzeugt von einer harmonischen Einheit von Natur und Kreatur, genau beobachtet. Auch deshalb lebten er und seine Frau Maria auf dem Land, nicht allzu weit von der Kunstmetropole München entfernt und nahe Murnau, wo Wassily Kandinsky und die anderen Freunde der Blaue-Reiter-Gemeinschaft die Sommer in Gabriele Münters Haus verlebten. Inspiriert von der prächtigen Landschaft dort entwickelten sie auf der Suche nach Ursprünglichkeit und Spiritualität gemeinsam ihren Expressionismus eigener Prägung. Hier im „Blauen Land“, nah seiner letzten Wohnstätte, erinnert in Kochel am See ein Museum an den 1916 gefallenen Franz Marc, das Stifter und Leihgeber mit Werken der Blauen Reiter füllten. Seit 2008 war Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy Direktorin dieses besonderen Hauses. Sie hat den im selben Jahr begonnenen Neubau begleitet und viele Ausstellungen gezeigt, die Expressionismus mit anderen, bis in die Gegenwart reichenden Kunstauffassungen in Beziehung setzten.

Anlässlich ihrer Verabschiedung in den Ruhestand lud Klingsöhr-Leroy nun drei Kuratorinnen ein, die Kocheler Sammlung „mit anderen Augen“ zu betrachten. Wieder ging es ihr dabei um frische, überraschende Sichtweisen auf den Expressionismus, dessen vom heutigen Publikum geschätzte Heiterkeit und Impulsivität davon ablenke, wie skandalös er zu Zeiten seiner Entstehung wirkte. Nicht nur wegen der als roh und flüchtig empfundenen Malweise. Sondern auch wegen seines im Almanach „Der Blaue Reiter“ postulierten Verlangens nach gesellschaftlicher Veränderung, etwa im Geschlechterverhältnis, in Fragen der Moral, in der Kritik an verhornten Hierarchien oder der Aufforderung, über den europäischen Horizont hinauszublicken.

„Blumenstrauß“ von Max Pechstein aus dem Jahr 1918
“Bouquet of Flowers” by Max Pechstein from 1918Photo: Antje Zeis-Loi, Media Center Wuppertal

The painter Karin Kneffel chose the mother-child relationship for the exhibition. She hung examples of her series of faces, which were created from photos of Gothic Madonna sculptures with the child, next to mother-and-child depictions from the collection. By giving mother and child separate canvases and looking past each other, Kneffel rationalizes the intimacy and notes that the relationship, generally glorified as symbiotic, is not always rosy. In this room, the tendency towards large formats in contemporary painting is also striking. The attempt to soften the violent visual dominance of Kneffel's diptychs, which seem huge here, over the many small works on paper was not really successful. Marc's painting of a girl cradling a cat in her motherly arms instead of a child had to suffice for this, and Max Beckmann's “Rietje and Nelly Lütjens” stepped in as a loan.

For Barbara Vinken, the museum's collection offered more. The literary scholar, gender and fashion specialist's selection of images could almost illustrate her essay “Dressed – The Secret of Fashion”. Since the social upheavals caused by the French Revolution, she explained, men have been uniformed with suits, ties and collars, while women's fashion has become more individualized, aimed at charm and seduction. Vinken finds the “objectification of the feminine” in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's paintings of slender artists in skin-tight blue leotards and dancers with high-flying skirts, works that seemed somewhat daring at the time they were created. At the same time, around 1914, in August Macke's work, men in suits are strolling with a lady in a simple blue dress, free of a modern corset. But Else Lasker-Schüler, as the androgynous “Prince Jussuf,” evaded binary classification and is characterised by her oriental costumes with extensive dishevelled trousers, worn by astonished Berlin.

Wassily Kandinsky’s watercolor “No. 24” from 1916
Wassily Kandinsky’s watercolor “No. 24” from 1916Franz Marc Museum, Etta and Otto Stangl Foundation

A small cupboard is in regards to the soul; that is the place Marc's non secular brother, Wassily Kandinsky, makes his look. Like him, Hilma af Klint was satisfied that non-representational portray has the potential to set the soul in movement. The artwork historian and af Klint biographer Julia Voss locations a watercolor sequence by the esoteric Swede, through which a tiny type, virtually biologically, penetrates a bigger one as if fertilizing it, subsequent to Kandinsky's “improvisations” through which rounded coloured kinds with strains float in an indeterminate house. The two are supported by their up to date Wilhelmine Assmann. The former maid, who had misplaced her younger son, drew sprawling shapes in a trance, satisfied that the kid was guiding her hand. One solely has to consider Thomas Mann's “The Magic Mountain” to get an concept of ​​how fascinated the time was by occult séances and the thought of ​​transmigration of souls.

“Growth of Night Plants” by Paul Klee, painted in 1922
“Growth of Night Plants” by Paul Klee, painted in 1922Collection of Modern Art within the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich

Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy dedicates her personal contribution to mindfulness of nature. She levels it round a shiny yellow mound that Wolfgang Laib piled up out of hazel pollen, facet by facet with Paul Klee's portray “Growth of Night Plants” of vegetative constructions glowing at midnight. The works gathered right here look like anticipations of present approaches to pondering, promoted by the local weather disaster and eager for nature, which classify plant organisms as equal to all different types of life and attribute to them energies of a really particular variety.

“Red Tree” by Leiko Ikemura from 2013
“Red Tree” by Leiko Ikemura from 2013Photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024

In Japan, the assumption that divine beings dwell in each stone and each plant creates respect for the surroundings. Leiko Ikemura's calligraphy-like footage of crimson timber make this clear, as does her sculptural white head, which sprouts from the little tree. Like Paul Klee or Joseph Beuys, Peter Handke is a passionate observer of botanical processes: his diaries are enriched by magical drawings of flowers and fruit, blackberries climb over the pages, and dandelions and fats walnuts break up the writing. You don't should be a clairvoyant to guess that Franz Marc, the painter of animals at one with nature, would have felt completely understood by Klingsöhr-Leroy's choice.

With completely different eyes. Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See; till June thirtieth. The catalogue (Hirmer Verlag) prices 24.90 euros.