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Making Modernism: discovering pioneering women of Modernism
創造現代主義:發現現代主義先鋒女性藝術家

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.

 

創造現代主義:發現現代主義先鋒女性藝術家

皇家藝術學會
2022 年 11 月 12 日 – 2023 年 2 月 12 日

皇家藝術學會將展示《創造現代主義》,這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。 《創造現代主義》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。其中許多藝術作品從未在英國展出過。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。

大家可能更熟悉德國現代主義的男性藝術家,但這些女性藝術家對於現代主義的發展和傳播同樣重要。這次展覽展示了現代主義的一些關鍵主題,如自畫像、靜物、女性身體、母性體驗以及城市和鄉村景觀,而這些都是通過女性藝術家的角度去看的。 策展人 Dorothy Price教授在媒體預展中表示,展覽劃分的五大主題可以幫助我們看到現代主義的普遍題材,以及如何從這些女性藝術家的角度詮釋這些主題。

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,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。

第二個主題——《兒童的世紀》,也是最情緒化的主題,探討了藝術家如何描繪兒童。兒童的作品往往象徵著簡單、快樂、希望和純真,但在這裡,它們也讓藝術家們描繪出憂鬱、緊張、好奇和未實現的慾望。正如策展人普萊斯教授所說,婚姻和孩子在這些女性藝術家的生活中佔據了很大的一部分,所以這讓我們了解到了這個話題如何在她們的作品中以不同於男性同行的方式體現出來。

《親密場所》反映了母性本能、女性身體、親密關係和色情。在這些作品中,母子主題被世俗化、現代化和重新評估,以反映圍繞母性主題的身體和情感深度。另一個主題,《城市與鄉村》,探索了女性如何參與城市生活、展示了休閒或工作的各種環境的畫作;而鄉村主題則表明需要遠離大都市來創作讚美鄉村自然美景的藝術。《靜物重生》——靜物作品——是展覽的最後一部分。 “靜物”的概念讓人想起藝術家在書信、日記和日記中記錄的沉思和冥想的安靜時刻。

《創造現代主義》突出了每位藝術家的個人特點,同時也連接了她們之間的共同點。本次展覽結合了大膽而富有情感的作品,從女性的角度觸及了身份、代表性和歸屬感等主題——而所有的這些依舊能在當今社會引起強烈的共鳴。

 

Edited 编辑 x Victoria Huang 黄婧

             

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