Max Liebermann

Pioneer of Modern Art

21 April to 11 September 2011

Max Liebermann (1847–1935) is celebrated as one of the most important pioneers of Modernism. His life's work, both as an artist and as a cultural policy maker, spans six decades and had a decisive impact on contemporary artistic discourse from the time of the foundation of the German Empire in 1871 until well into the final years of the Weimar Republic. Drawing on the Dutch Old Masters Rembrandt and Frans Hals as well as on the French Impressionists, Liebermann created an oeuvre of rare stylistic and thematic breadth.
Chronologically arranged, the exhibition presents approximately one hundred paintings and drawings by Liebermann, offering a unique insight into all phases of the artist's work. Throughout his long career he successfully and almost programmatically avoided stagnation, consistently keeping his style and his repertoire of motifs fresh and pertinent.
The exhibition covers a wide range of topics and showcases the artist's most important groups of works. His early paintings of earthy peasant subjects are distinguished by a subdued palette. It was not until the mid-1880s that the artist began to plunge his motifs of bourgeois pastimes – the world of outdoor cafes, seaside amusements and polo matches – in the dappled sunshine of the French Impressionists, without, however, copying their technique.
After 1900, Liebermann became a much sought-after portraitist. A representative number of the artist's insightful self-portraits add a personal touch to the display. The exhibition ends with Liebermann's spectacular late works, painted in his summerhouse on the Wannsee lake in Berlin from about 1910. The myriad views of his garden, allowed Liebermann to experiment with unprecedented freedom, creating a body of work in which art and nature converge in happy synthesis.
Three key elements of Liebermann's garden – the hedge gardens, the birch grove and the flower garden – have been imaginatively recreated on the roof of the Art and Exhibition Hall. The roof garden beguiles with its carefully constructed lines of sight, unpredictable and ever-changing play of light and colour and the direct experience of nature. More than just an extension to the tour of the galleries, it invites visitors to use all their senses and to immerse themselves in Max Liebermann's world.



Show bibliography

    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    Museumsmeile Bonn
    Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
    53113 Bonn
    T +49 228 9171–200

    Opening hours

    Mondays closed
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
    Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
    (including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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