KÄTHE KOLLWITZ: FATE, CONTEXT, POSITION

17/05/2024 - 16/06/2024

The National Gallery possesses 22 graphic works by Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), which, along with those of several other artists from her circle, constitute this exhibition. These artworks emphasise the major plastic and philosophical aspects of both Kollwitz’ searches and her encounters with the work of some 20th-century artists extremely distinguished for their aesthetic and technical virtuosity—including Max Slevogt (1857–1920), Max Liebermann (1847–1935), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859–1923), Lovis Corinth (1858–1925), Ernst Barlach (1870–1938), Heinrich Zille (1885–1929), Otto Dix (1891–1969), Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), and Otto Nagel (1894–1967). The National Gallery’s collection of their artworks is shown for the first time in its entirety, presenting their mastery while simultaneously revealing in depth their humanistic world view.

Regardless of the fact that they stood for different pathways in figurative art, these names influenced crucial moments in Käthe Kollwitz’ creative career and life, and the general trend of their views towards history, society and culture.

Käthe Kollwitz, the exhibition’s unifying figure, is the most well-known German artist, both in her time and today. Her style won recognition despite the constant opposition of official authorities to her oeuvre. Her art is shattering, addressing the most dramatic and universal human values with an emotional commitment to social conscience and pacifism. Her graphic and plastic works were a fateful part of what she herself experienced, shoulder to shoulder, along with the images she depicted—through the feelings of a mother mourning her dead child and of women who desperately want to save their children from war, misery, and hunger. She was the first female professor at the Berlin Academy of Arts, where she led the graphic arts masterclass before the Nazis forced her to leave because of her anti-fascist and creative stances.

Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.