16 Jan 2018

Landscape Between Impressionism and Expressionism: Masterpieces by Hagemeister and Leistikow

Bröhan-Museum

Reviewed by Vera Wilde

We do not live in Romantic times, when poets and painters take their notebooks and baskets of oils into the snowy woods to hunt, forage, and make art as they must. What was once a wild embrace of the human spirit's needs can now seem a denial of civilizational crisis. If the world is dying, what's the point?

Not so for Hagemeister (the German Monet) and Leistikow (kin with Courbet). Working en plein air before the World Wars, they conveyed joy, hunger, and above all the playfulness of their experiments. The more abstract works exert the most emotional force, exemplified by Hagemeister's Buchenstamm im Sonnenfleck im Walde and wave series.

Eerie yellow-blue color contrasts (Hagemeister's Sonnenaufgang über dem Schwieliges) and moodily flowing pink clouds (Leistikow's Bäume) invoke Munch. The works' warmth and prescience is counterbalanced by the presence of pieces that don't quite work. This was before you could Google color theory even in the snowy woods, and it shows.

Exhibition Landscape Between Impressionism and Expressionism: Masterpieces by Hagemeister and Leistikow link
Start date 26 Oct 2017
End date 25 Feb 2018 (in 2 days)
Presenter Bröhan-Museum link
Venue Schloßstraße 1a, Berlin, DEU map
Image Walter Lestikow, Der Hafen, 1895, oil on canvas, photo Martin Adam, Berlin, courtesy of the Bröhan-Museum
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