31 March - 11 May 2012

A discussion with Prof. Dr Raimund Stecker, director of the Lehmbruck Museum, on 18 April 2012 at 7:30 PM.

„The essence of art is measure. Measure for measure, that is what matters…“ (Wilhelm Lehmbruck)

As from 30 March 2012, Michael Werner Kunsthandel, Cologne, is presenting an exhibition of in total 15 sculptures and 27 etchings by Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919). At a young age, Lehmbruck began his studies in 1895 at the Düsseldorf School of Applied Arts, and in 1901 he started to study sculpture at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. The wide-ranging collection of plaster casts, which formed the basis of this training both for painters and sculptors, was to have a profound influence on Lehmbruck’s later work. A reduction in his treatment of form became more and more apparent during the second decade of the 20th century. His experimentation both with the materials he used and the motif of the human form has secured him a place as a forerunner of the modernist movement. He was particularly innovative in his artistic use of stone casting as well as in his fragmentary figures.

His distinctive style developed during his stay in Paris (1910-1914). At the outbreak of World War I, he returned to Germany and his work took on a more expressive character. The radicalism of his approach at this time is particularly evident in the elongated limbs and innovative use of proportions in his figurative work. In 1913, he took part in the „Armory Show“ in the USA and a year later his first solo exhibition opened at the Galerie Levesque in Paris. In 1919 Lehmbruck committed suicide at the young age of 38. The melancholy reserve that characterizes the figures of his final years reflects his experience of powerlessness and the horrors of war. His typical reduction of form and expression have given his ouevre a timeless relevance, a quality which led later artists such as Joseph Beuys to see in Lehmbruck one of the most influencial sculptors of the 20th century.

Wilhelm Lehmbruck is accompanied by a catalogue featuring a text by Annabelle Ténèze.