This year we are once again presenting exciting new discoveries of Classical Modernism and Post-War Modernism in Hall 3 Stand 20, revealing interesting connections between largely forgotten and well-known artists, in particular between the Munich painter Joseph Mader and Max Beckmann, and between the Jewish artist Katja Meirowsky and her artist friends, the sculptor Waldemar Grzimek and the painter Heinz Trökes, who were also members of the legendary post-war Berlin artists' cabaret "Die Badewanne". Color explosions by Gerhart Hein, who owed his artistic career to former Brücke member Otto Mueller, occupy their own place within the presentation. For all of them, whose development and careers as artists were cut short by National Socialism and the war, May 1945 meant a new beginning in their lives and work.
The artistic confrontation of Joseph Mader (1905-1982) with his role model Max Beckmann becomes clear at the "Möwe" stand, above all in large-format works on paper from the early 1930s, which, with subjects such as vaudeville and the circus, are in dialogue with prints by Max Beckmann (1884-1950). At the beginning of the 1930s, the press wrote: " ...Joseph Mader (...) seems to be ideally connected with Max Beckmann. This alone, that he, as one of the few, has the courage to approach this strongest painterly talent of the younger Germany, is a proof of powerful initiative ..." The tribute refers to an exhibition of Mader's paintings in 1932 at the Munich gallery of Günther Franke, who, as a collector of Beckmann's works, was also convinced of Mader's artistic qualities. Mader's other patrons included the publisher and Beckmann friend Reinhard Piper, as well as the director of Berlin's National Gallery, Eberhard Hanfstaengl. Although Mader was repeatedly represented in exhibitions after 1945, the art establishment hardly noticed his figurative works at a time when abstract imagery was in demand above all. Only in recent years has the greatness of his art, which heralds the "richness of visibilities," been rediscovered.
Katja Meirowsky, Waldemar Grzimek and Heinz Trökes became friends for life in post-war Berlin. They participated in national and international exhibitions with sensational works of art and appeared in the legendary Berlin artists' cabaret "Die Badewanne". Katja Meirowsky (1920-2012), who had returned to Berlin from exile in 1945, chose Ibiza as her new center of life in 1953. On the island, a fascinating world of new motifs and inspirations opened up to her. In her paintings, gouaches and drawings, interior and exterior worlds, dream and landscape elements merge in a unique way.
Waldemar Grzimek (1918-1984), one of the most important German realist sculptors of the 20th century, continued the great tradition of the figurative Berlin School of Sculpture. To the classical subject - standing, sitting and lying down - he added the dimension of inner movement as a moment of possible change. Heinz Trökes (1913-1997) is one of the internationally renowned leading representatives of German post-war modernism. A versatile formal language characterizes his entire oeuvre, which features color abstractions, color spaces, but also atmospheric-poetic fantasies. Trökes' works from his Paris years from 1950 to 1952, which are characterized by a new, intense colorfulness and also two-dimensionally conceived compositions, radiate an almost inexhaustible fantasy and lightness.
Otto Mueller, a professor at the Breslau Art Academy since 1919, discovered the artistic talent of Gerhart Hein (1910-1998) in 1929 and enabled him to enter the city's art academy. In the mid-1950s, Hein dissolved figuration in his paintings. Forms inspired by Cubism led him further into abstract structures of geometric lines delimiting areas of color. Hein called these colorful structures "imaginary substance."
The One Artist Show at the "Möwe" booth is dedicated to the Berlin sculptor Wolfram Beck (1930-2004), who left behind a multifaceted œuvre. The presentation features sculptures, assemblages, drawings and paintings. Beck was a master of aesthetic rigor and precision craftsmanship with high sensitivity to the processing of each material such as wood, steel, bronze, acrylic and stone.