Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Getty Presents German Paintings from Dresden

The Getty Presents German Paintings from Dresden

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Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, Landschaft in Rottluff, 1921, Öl auf Leinwand, 87.5 x 101 cm. Galerie Neue Meister, Gal. Nr. 3824. Verwendung nur mit Genehmigung und Quellenangabe.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Since the Enlightenment, the city of Dresden has been a world leader in the arts and sciences. Overshadowed by the catastrophic bombing of World War II, Dresden has reemerged as a major European cultural capital following German reunification. The rebuilding of some of Dresden's major monuments has involved the world as a partner in binding the wounds of the 20th century, promoting healing and reconciliation.

Joining in this process, the J. Paul Getty Trust has provided expertise and resources to the Dresden State Museums in a variety of initiatives since 1995. The Getty Foundation has funded publications and conservation efforts, the Getty Conservation Institute assisted various institutions following the devastating Dresden floods of 2002, and the Getty Museum has provided conservation assistance and exhibited selected works from Dresden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. As an extension of this relationship, the J. Paul Getty Museum, with From Caspar David Fiedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden (through April 29, 2007 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center), embarks on a series of collaborative exhibitions forged by curatorial departments in both cities, bringing to Los Angeles works of art from Dresden that provide visitors new perspectives on the collections of both institutions.

From Caspar David Fiedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden takes a look at the range of German painting in the time period between two of the best-known German artists associated with Dresden – Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and Gerhard Richter (b. 1932). For this exhibition, two galleries in the Museum’s West Pavilion will be dedicated exclusively to the works of these two artists – one devoted to a series of works by Friedrich, the key voice of German Romanticism, from the Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden; the second showcasing new work by Gerhard Richter, the most significant German artist working today. Additionally, paintings by other German artists from the Galerie Neue Meister, one of the foremost collections of German art from the 19th century to the present, will be interspersed throughout the Getty Museum’s permanent galleries, displayed alongside objects from the Getty’s own collection to allow for comparisons of subject matter, technique and style.

In the gallery devoted to works by Friedrich will be eight paintings, including his 1809 masterwork, the Tetschen Altarpiece, or Cross in the Mountains, which has never before been exhibited in the United States. On view in an adjacent gallery will be a series of twelve works completed by Richter in 2005 initially titled Abstract Paintings, but renamed Wald (Woodlands) in light of his affinity—shared with Friedrich—for the theme of evocative landscapes.

Throughout the rest of the Getty Museum, 13 paintings from the Galerie Neue Meister by such artists as Carl Gustav Carus, Johann Christian Dahl, Otto Dix, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff will be shown alongside works from the Getty’s permanent collection for comparative analysis. These juxtapositions address diverse aspects of German art between 1800 and World War I, including Romanticism and the sublime, and the interrelationships between Germany and its artistic heritage with European culture at large.

In some cases, the comparisons will be obvious, as with the side-by-side comparison of two Impressionist portraits: Max Liebermann’s Portrait of Alfred von Berger from Dresden with the Getty’s Albert Cahen d’Anvers by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In other cases, the juxtaposition may require explanation, as with Werner Tübke’s Requiem and the Getty’s Saint Jerome in the Wilderness by Ercole de’Roberti (Tübke uses techniques similar to the Renaissance painting in his 1965 work).

“The Getty’s partnership with the Dresden State Museums will give our curators the chance to offer fresh perspectives on objects throughout the Getty’s entire collection,” says Michael Brand, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “While the first exhibition focuses on German paintings, our future collaborative exhibitions will allow us to draw comparisons between our two collections not just with paintings but also with antiquities and decorative arts. The Getty’s visitors will benefit greatly from being able to experience objects in new contexts.”

Over the course of the next three years, subsequent exhibitions at both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa will include: The Herculaneum Women and the Origins of Archaeology at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa (Spring 2007) as well as planned exhibitions of decorative arts from Dresden’s Green Vault (Fall 2008) and Bolognese paintings (Winter/Spring 2009) at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center.

From Caspar David Fiedrich to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden is curated by Jon Seydl, associate curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Ulrich Bischoff, director of the Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden, with the assistance of curators Birgit Dalbajewa and Gerd Spitzer in Dresden and Mary Morton in Los Angeles. This exhibition has been co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. An illustrated catalogue, featuring an interview with Gerhard Richter, accompanies the exhibition.

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