Max Beckmann: The World as a Stage

February 24, 2018 to June 10, 2018

Many paintings by Max Beckmann (1884–1950) show the world of the theater, circus, and music halls. Showmanship was a driving force behind his work. In his paintings, Beckmann modernized the baroque idea of the world as a stage.

In light of the artist’s experiences in World War I and the dramatic political developments on the world stage during his years in exile after 1937, Beckmann used his ‘world theater’ as a symbol for the catastrophic situation that prevailed at the time in world affairs. In Beckmann’s art, the metaphor of the world as a stage can be seen as a strategy that he used to confront the dramatic changes occurring around him. The painter transformed his images into a stage for his art. Max Beckmann: The World as a Stage is the first exhibition to focus on this theme, which was of major importance to the artist. It gives viewers new insight into one the most exceptional artists of the twentieth century. With loans from numerous international museum collections such as the Tate London, the Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. In cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen.

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Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, Doppelbildnis Karneval, Max Beckmann und Quappi/Carnival Double-Portrait, Max Beckmann and Quappi, 1925, Copyright: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Copyright Foto: ARTOTHEK Weilheim: Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast

Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, Doppelbildnis Karneval, Max Beckmann und Quappi/Carnival Double-Portrait, Max Beckmann and Quappi, 1925, Copyright: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Copyright Foto: ARTOTHEK Weilheim: Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast

Many paintings by Max Beckmann (1884–1950) show the world of the theater, circus, and music halls. Showmanship was a driving force behind his work. In his paintings, Beckmann modernized the baroque idea of the world as a stage.

Many paintings by Max Beckmann (1884–1950) show the world of the theater, circus, and music halls. Showmanship was a driving force behind his work. In his paintings, Beckmann modernized the baroque idea of the world as a stage.

Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, Doppelbildnis Karneval, Max Beckmann und Quappi/Carnival Double-Portrait, Max Beckmann and Quappi, 1925, Copyright: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Copyright Foto: ARTOTHEK Weilheim: Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast

Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, Doppelbildnis Karneval, Max Beckmann und Quappi/Carnival Double-Portrait, Max Beckmann and Quappi, 1925, Copyright: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Copyright Foto: ARTOTHEK Weilheim: Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast

In light of the artist’s experiences in World War I and the dramatic political developments on the world stage during his years in exile after 1937, Beckmann used his ‘world theater’ as a symbol for the catastrophic situation that prevailed at the time in world affairs. In Beckmann’s art, the metaphor of the world as a stage can be seen as a strategy that he used to confront the dramatic changes occurring around him. The painter transformed his images into a stage for his art. Max Beckmann: The World as a Stage is the first exhibition to focus on this theme, which was of major importance to the artist. It gives viewers new insight into one the most exceptional artists of the twentieth century. With loans from numerous international museum collections such as the Tate London, the Fogg Museum, Cambridge MA, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. In cooperation with the Kunsthalle Bremen.

Tickets

Tour

Interview with Ortrud Westheider, Director Museum Barberini

Max Beckmann. Biography

Max Beckmann is born in Leipzig on February 12, 1884. In his early youth he is already making sketches of circus and theater audiences. At sixteen he begins studying at the Grand Ducal Art School in Weimar.

In 1903–4 Beckmann lives in Paris, where he visits variety theaters and concert halls. He continues to pursue this passion during his Berlin period from 1904 onward, regularly attending chamber music and symphonic concerts as well. In 1906 he marries the painter and later opera singer Minna Tube.

At the start of the First World War, Beckmann volunteers to serve as a medic. Numerous drawings and prints are marked by his experiences of daily life in wartime. They lead to a profound transformation in Beckmann’s work and culminate in a psychological breakdown and his discharge from the military in 1916. That same year the painter moves in with friends in Frankfurt am Main. His regular café, the Café Rumpelmayer, is a meeting point for the theater scene and is famous for its concerts. He writes the plays The Hotel, Ebbi, and The Ladies’ Man.

After divorcing Minna in 1925 he marries Mathilde von Kaulbach, known as Quappi. Thanks to a professorship at the Städelschule from 1929 and the sales of his paintings in Berlin, Paris, and New York, in the following years Beckmann becomes one of the most famous and most successful German painters of his day.

In 1933, Beckmann’s paintings are defamed by the National Socialists as “degenerate.” He loses his position at the Städelschule and moves to Berlin, from which he then emigrates via Paris to Amsterdam in 1937.

Following the end of the war in 1945, Beckmann again takes a number of trips, and in 1948 he moves to the United States. One day before his death he completes work on his triptych Argonauts. Max Beckmann dies in New York on December 27, 1950.

Max Beckmann. Biography
Max Beckmann is born in Leipzig on February 12, 1884. In his early youth he is already making sketches of circus and theater audiences. At sixteen he begins studying at the Grand Ducal Art School in Weimar.
Photo-booth pictures: Max und Mathilde Beckmann at Luna Park, Paris, in the 1920s, Max Beckmann Archiv, Max Beckmann Nachlässe, Munich

Photo-booth pictures: Max und Mathilde Beckmann at Luna Park, Paris, in the 1920s, Max Beckmann Archiv, Max Beckmann Nachlässe, Munich

Max Beckmann is born in Leipzig on February 12, 1884. In his early youth he is already making sketches of circus and theater audiences. At sixteen he begins studying at the Grand Ducal Art School in Weimar.

In 1903–4 Beckmann lives in Paris, where he visits variety theaters and concert halls. He continues to pursue this passion during his Berlin period from 1904 onward, regularly attending chamber music and symphonic concerts as well. In 1906 he marries the painter and later opera singer Minna Tube.

At the start of the First World War, Beckmann volunteers to serve as a medic. Numerous drawings and prints are marked by his experiences of daily life in wartime. They lead to a profound transformation in Beckmann’s work and culminate in a psychological breakdown and his discharge from the military in 1916. That same year the painter moves in with friends in Frankfurt am Main. His regular café, the Café Rumpelmayer, is a meeting point for the theater scene and is famous for its concerts. He writes the plays The Hotel, Ebbi, and The Ladies’ Man.

After divorcing Minna in 1925 he marries Mathilde von Kaulbach, known as Quappi. Thanks to a professorship at the Städelschule from 1929 and the sales of his paintings in Berlin, Paris, and New York, in the following years Beckmann becomes one of the most famous and most successful German painters of his day.

In 1933, Beckmann’s paintings are defamed by the National Socialists as “degenerate.” He loses his position at the Städelschule and moves to Berlin, from which he then emigrates via Paris to Amsterdam in 1937.

Following the end of the war in 1945, Beckmann again takes a number of trips, and in 1948 he moves to the United States. One day before his death he completes work on his triptych Argonauts. Max Beckmann dies in New York on December 27, 1950.

Max Beckmann is born in Leipzig on February 12, 1884. In his early youth he is already making sketches of circus and theater audiences. At sixteen he begins studying at the Grand Ducal Art School in Weimar.
About the artist

Cataloge
Max Beckmann: The World as a Stage

Zur Ausstellung erscheint im Prestel Verlag, München, ein Katalog, herausgegeben von der Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen und dem Museum Barberini, Potsdam. Mit Beiträgen von Verena Borgmann, Eva Fischer-Hausdorf, Miriam Häßler, Sebastian Karnatz, Eefke Kleimann, Irene Pieper, Lynette Roth, Ortrud Westheider, Christiane Zeiller, 224 Seiten, 183 farbige Abbildungen, Ausgabe im Museumsshop € 30,00. Buchhandelsausgabe € 39,95

Max Beckmann: The World as a Stage

Zur Ausstellung erscheint im Prestel Verlag, München, ein Katalog, herausgegeben von der Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen und dem Museum Barberini, Potsdam. Mit Beiträgen von Verena Borgmann, Eva Fischer-Hausdorf, Miriam Häßler, Sebastian Karnatz, Eefke Kleimann, Irene Pieper, Lynette Roth, Ortrud Westheider, Christiane Zeiller, 224 Seiten, 183 farbige Abbildungen, Ausgabe im Museumsshop € 30,00. Buchhandelsausgabe € 39,95

Berliner Morgenpost: Wenn die Welt eine Bühne ist, ist das Museum Barberini mit der Ausstellung „Welttheater“ ein bunter, dennoch melancholischer Zirkus.

Berliner Zeitung: Das jüngste Ausstellungsereignis ist wieder ein Coup … eine einzigartige Ausstellung.

B.Z.: Manege frei für Max Beckmanns Welttheater

Der Tagesspiegel: Das Potsdamer Museum Barberini zeigt einen bedeutenden Ausschnitt aus dem Werk des großen Kulissenschiebers Max Beckmann ... Es lohnt, die Gemälde aus der Nähe zu betrachten, den schichtenartigen Aufbau der Farben, ihr Leuchten oder auch ihre Stumpfheit, ganz wie Beckmann, dieser Theaterdirektor der Kunst, es wollte.

Deutsche Welle: Max Beckmann is another big hit for the Museum Barberini

Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten: Das Museum Barberini in Potsdam zeigt die Ausstellung „Max Beckmann. Welttheater“. Darunter sind Leihgaben aus Übersee, die in Europa nur selten gezeigt werden.

Leipziger Volkszeitung: Es ist die Ahnung von einem Dasein als Theater, in dem jeder eine Rolle zu spielen hat, die Beckmann zeitlebens umtrieb und was sich in zahlreichen seiner Werke niederschlug.

Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung: Neue Ausstellung, ähnliches Thema, und doch ganz anders. Es geht erneut um die Souveränität des Künstlers im Museum Barberini in Potsdam. Wie viel Selbstbestimmung ist möglich? Wie autonom kann die Kunst unter bestimmten gesellschaftlichen Umständen sein? Nachdem diese Fragen in den vergangenen Monaten in der viel beachteten Ausstellung „Hinter der Maske“ für die Kunst aus der DDR diskutiert wurde, ist nun Max Beckmann dran.

neues deutschland: Beckmanns Welttheater überwältigt die Augen und restlichen Sinnesorgane regelrecht, so farbenreich ist es ... Was ist das, ein Welttheater von nur einem Maler? Des Rätsels Lösung ist, es sich im Museum Barberini anzuschauen.

rbb abendschau: Sieht so aus, als sei dem Museum schon wieder ein großer Wurf gelungen

rbb Brandenburg aktuell: Potsdams kulturelle Schmuckkiste, das Museum Barberini, zaubert die nächste Ausstellung aus dem Hut

rbb online: Die beeindruckende Schau nimmt den Besucher mit auf eine Reise durch Werk des Expressionisten - und fordert den Besucher zur Selbstreflexion auf

rbb kulturradio: Sehenswert

Rheinische Post: Das Museum Barberini feiert den von den Nazis verfemten Max Beckmann ... Das noch junge Haus erweist sich als Publikumsmagnet

stern online: Museum Barberini startet mit Max Beckmann ins zweite Jahr

tip: Was hier im Museum Barberini gezeigt wird, ist Beckmann at its best

Weltkunst: Kann man Max Beckmann jemals wieder in einem anderen Licht sehen?

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