Max Pechstein, Self-portrait with Pipe, 1921.
Woodcut. Portland Art Museum, Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund. (c) 2006 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
PAM's low key From
Anxiety to Ecstasy: Themes in German Expressionist Prints
is probably the
single most satisfying museum show in the Pacific Northwest right now (I've gone
4 times). It features all of the big names like Ernst
, Franz Marc, George
etc. In fact, it's the best show I've ever seen at PAM in terms of depth
and intellectual relevance. Early 20th century Germany was a heady melange
of decadence, hedonism, industrialization, self expression, politics and an eventual
fascist backlash. These expressionist artists defined existentialism before the
term existed and unlike most prints, stand as some of the most important artistic
accomplishments in any era. Look, Hitler
hated this stuff
and if your idea of cosmopolitanism
is drinking something
with Cointreau in it, get your lame intellectual credentials down to PAM to check
this out. Yes expressionism was about internal angst but it was also about developing a culture of
tolerance and general social engagement.
On Sunday May 14th at 2:00PM
there will be a lecture
on the art and society of the early decades of 20th-century Germany
author and University of Oregon professor Sherwin Simmons. For tickets, call
503-226-0973. Bring Mom.
Location: Portland Art Museum, Whitsell Auditorium
Fee: Members: Free. Non-members: Included with Museum admission.
I'll second your excellent promotion of this exhibit. It's unfortunate it's a little buried in the PAM exhibitions (part of it is in a stairwell. But you won't want to miss it.
While you're in the museum don't miss toulouse lautrec's pieces in the Jubitz Modern - and maybe check out Roxy Paine's PMU (Painting Machine Unit).
this is a great show! succinct, yet potent. The Kathe Kollwitz's alone are worth the price of admission.
small but powerful. It also has that iconic Grosz "Fit for active Duty!" Very cool... it even sets up the history of German expressionism by beginning with a beautiful large scale Munch from a generation earlier.... And of course the Beckmann's are amazing. I always admire his ability to intertwine humor and magic into pathos and suffering, I think he is much more complex than the limitations imposed by the "german expressionist" style. I liked this concise show far more than wading through all the hesse glitz to see the few pieces I cared about....
A+ show! thanks PAM for the small but bright firework!
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