Max Pechstein. A Modern Artist

20 May to 3 September 2017
Max Pechstein (1881-1955): Das gelbschwarze Trikot, 1910, Brücke-Museum Berlin, Dauerleihgabe aus Privatbesitz, © 2017 Pechstein Hamburg / TökendorfMax Pechstein (1881-1955): Das gelbschwarze Trikot, 1910, Brücke-Museum Berlin, Dauerleihgabe aus Privatbesitz, © 2017 Pechstein Hamburg / Tökendorf

The Bucerius Kunst Forum presents Max Pechstein: A Modern Artist, the first solo exhibition in Hamburg to showcase the accomplishments of the German Expressionist, on display from 20 May to 3 September 2017. This exhibition celebrates the artist Max Pechstein (1881–1955) as a pioneer of Modernism, and illuminates his multifaceted work through the lens of key biographical and geographical highlights. Divided into five chronological sections, the exhibition reveals how Pechstein’s style changed and developed with each of the places he lived in, including Paris, Berlin, and Dresden; Nida on the Curonian Spit; Monterosso in Italy; Palau in the western Pacific Ocean; and Łeba and Rowy in eastern Pomerania. Beyond exploring how each location influenced the motifs present in Pechstein’s work, the exhibition investigates the artist’s identification of pivotal trends and reforms in painting, and how he absorbed these into his own art. Over 70 works of art give an insight into all of Pechstein’s significant work cycles and creative periods between 1906 and 1932. Alongside numerous paintings, prints, drawings, watercolours, and woodcuts are on display.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Brücke Museum, Berlin, and is curated by its director, Magdalena M. Moeller.

Max Pechstein was one of the first German artists to take the stylistic means of expression used by French Fauvism and transform them into a unique Expressionist style. Following an artistically formative stay in Paris between 1907 and 1908, he became a key figure in the development of the Brücke movement in Dresden and Berlin. From 1912, cubist elements began influencing his work. Alongside life in the metropolis, it was nature – unspoiled and secluded – that inspired Pechstein time and again, first in Nida, and later in his ‘Pomeranian paradises’ of Łeba and Rowy. On the island of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean, he found a fleeting, perfect harmony between man and nature, which can be seen in his works after 1917. At the beginning of the 1920s, shaped by his experiences in the First World War, he increasingly painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of his family, in an attempt to find an inner sense of peace. His vivid, colourful sunsets can be traced back to his stay in Monterosso, Italy, whereas the experience of being vilified as a ‘degenerate’ artist under the Nazi regime marked his later works, which often depicted desolate, dramatic landscapes.

 The Exhibition is sponsored by Bankhaus Lampe and Lampe Asset Management.