Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art, 1870-1940

Arnold Böcklin, Sirens, 1875

Oil on canvas
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

b. 1827, Basel, Switzerland
d. 1901, Fiesole, Italy

Sirens
Arnold Böcklin
1875
Arnold Böcklin, Sirens, 1875
Max Klinger, Pissing Death, ca. 1880

Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Gallery Brockstedt, Hamburg

b. 1857, Leipzig
d. 1920, near Naumburg

Pissing Death
Max Klinger
ca. 1880
Max Klinger, Pissing Death, ca. 1880
Emil Nolde, Mountain Giants, 1895-96

Oil on canvas
Stiftung Seebüll Ada and Emil Nolde

b. 1867, Nolde, near Tondern (North Schleswig)
d. 1956, Seebüll (Northern Friesland)

Mountain Giants
Emil Nolde
1895-96
Emil Nolde, Mountain Giants, 1895-96
Alfred Kubin, Adoration (The Potbelly), ca. 1901

India ink and spray on board
Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz

b. 1877, Leitmeritz
d. 1959, Wernstein

Adoration (The Potbelly)
Alfred Kubin
ca. 1901
Alfred Kubin, Adoration (The Potbelly), ca. 1901
Lyonel Feininger, The White Man, 1907

Oil on canvas
Colleción Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza
on loan to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

b. 1871, New York
d. 1956, New York

The White Man
Lyonel Feininger
1907
Lyonel Feininger, The White Man, 1907

Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art, 1870-1940

October 15, 2004-February 14, 2005

This exhibition explores an important but too often neglected aspect of early twentieth-century German art: humor. Overall, the exhibition brings together more than 70 works from public and private collections. "Comic Grotesque" is organized by Dr. Pamela Kort, an independent curator based in Berlin.

It begins with late-nineteenth century paintings by Arnold Böcklin, then presents work by a number of major artists, including Max Ernst, Hannah Höch, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Alfred Kubin, and Emil Nolde.Connections between the visual arts and the rise of cabaret culture and satirical journals will also be considered. In addition to paintings, drawings, posters, and sculpture, the exhibition will feature a room devoted to the films of Karl Valentin.

A different version of this exhibition, entitled "Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit," originated at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and traveled to the Haus der Kunst in Munich.