Royal Academy of Arts
12 November 2022 – 12 February 2023
The Royal Academy of Arts is presenting Making Modernism, the first major UK exhibition focusing on pioneering German women artists hidden from the history of 20th-century Modernism.
Making Modernism will primarily show artworks by Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin. Additionally, it will introduce works by Erma Bossi, Ottilie Reylaender and Jacoba van Heemskerck. Many of these artworks have never been seen in the UK before. The 67 paintings on exhibition include the use of different media, such as tempera, oil on cardboard, woodcut on paper, crayon, etc.
Although people might be more familiar with male artists of German modernism, these female artists were just as central to the development and dissemination of modernism. The exhibition features key themes of modernism such as self-portraiture, still-life, the female body, maternal experience, and urban and rural scenes, all seen through the lens of its female practitioners. Professor Dorothy Price, the curator of Making Modernism, stated during the press preview that the exhibition is divided into themes because it helps us see the general tropes of modernism, and how these themes are interpreted from these female artists’ perspectives.
Gabriele Münter’s ‘Portrait of Anna Roslund’ (1917) is the first artwork we see at the start of the exhibition. The opening section, Ourselves and Others, focuses on self-portraits and portraits, showing the participation of women artists in public life and their crucial role in the emergence of modernism in Germany. These portraits often feature their surroundings and people in their lives, challenging conventional ideals of feminine roles as confined to the home, and questioning how they saw themselves and others.
The second section, The Century of the Child, and probably the most emotionally charged section, explores how the artists depicted children. Artworks of children often symbolise simplicity, joy, hope and innocence, but here they allow artists to depict melancholy, tension, curiosity, and unfulfilled desire. As the curator Professor Price said, marriage and children played a big part in these women artists’ life, so this section allows us to see how this topic would be reflected in their works differently than their male counterparts.
Sites of Intimacy reflects upon the maternal instinct, female body, intimate relationships, and eroticism. In these works, the mother and child theme is secularised, modernised and reevaluated to reflect the physical and emotional depth of the topics surrounding motherhood.
Another section, City and Country, presents paintings that explore how women engage in various contexts of urban life, at leisure, or at work; while rural subjects reveal the need to take refuge away from the metropolis to produce art that celebrated the natural beauty of the countryside. Last but not least, still-life works make the final part of the exhibition. The concept of ‘still lives’ brings to mind quiet moments of reflection and meditation recorded by the artists in their letters, diaries and journals.
Making Modernism highlights the individuality of each artist while also connecting the ties between them. Combining bold and emotive works, this exhibition touches upon themes of identity, representation and belonging from women’s perspective – all powerfully relevant today.
2022 年 11 月 12 日 – 2023 年 2 月 12 日
《創造現代主義》是英國第一個重點關注20世紀現代主義歷史中被埋沒的先鋒德國女性藝術家的展覽。該展覽重點展示了 Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter和Marianne Werefkin的作品。此外，該展覽也介紹了 Erma Bossi, Ottilie Reylaender和Jacoba van Heemskerck的作品。該展覽陳列了67件作品，分別使用了不同的媒介，包括蛋彩畫、紙板油畫、紙上木刻、蠟筆等，其中許多藝術作品從未在英國展出過。
Gabriele Münter 的《Anna Roslund的肖像(1917)》是我們在展覽開始時看到的第一幅作品。開幕主題《自己和他人》側重於自畫像和肖像題材，展示了女性藝術家參與公共生活以及她們在德國現代主義興起中的關鍵角色。這些肖像通常以生活中的周圍環境和人物為特色，挑戰傳統的女性僅限於家庭的理想，並探索她們如何看待自己和他人。
Edited 编辑 x Victoria Huang 黄婧