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German Expressionism in Zagreb

  • 16

October 2008
Klovicevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb  

The Croatian media is placing ever increasing attention on the German Expressionism exhibition which opens 23th October at the Klovicevi dvori Gallery in Zagreb. With great masterpieces on loan from German museums and institutions and from the UniCredit Group collection (via German Group member HVB) the exhibition presents an exceptional view of one of the 20th century's leading avant-garde movements: the first to give a voice to subjectivity.

Expressionism involved all art forms, not just figurative art and it rebelled against bourgeois values and fed on the ideological and philosophical presuppositions of Nietzsche, Bergson, Ibsen, Wedekind and Strindberg. This movement heralded an interest for the irrational, for man's primitive nature, and those subconscious motives which often led to existential anxiety.

In 1910, gallery owner Paul Cassirer was among the first to use the term "expressionist" in direct contrast to "mpressionist" when he described one of Max Pechstein's works. Expressionism greatest flourishing came in the years 1905-1914 and spread from various German cities with Fauvism being its sort of opposite number in France Among the German cities which were greatly involved with the movement was Munich - one of Germany's liveliest centres from a cultural and artistic point of view and also the historic headquarters of HVB. Back in 1892 Munich was where the first Sezession was promoted and directed by Franz von Stuck supporting the new trends such as Jugendstil and Symbolism. Fifteen years after the new generation of Vasilij Kandinskij, Gabriele Münter, Alexej Jawlenskij, Marianne von Werefkin, Adolf Erbsloh and Alexander Kanoldt, von Stuck founded the "Neue Künstlervereinigung München" which further renewed expressive languages and from this association came an offshoot in 1911: the Blaue Reiter, which was dominated by the personality of Kandinskij and his reach towards the spiritual and an anti-naturalistic use of colours which shortly afterwards went on to being Abstract art.

The Zagreb exhibition brings together Croatia and Germany and offers the public a unique occasion with works not only by Kandinskij but also by Klee, Dix, Kirchner and Beckmann.

The art scene in eastern and central European countries is now establishing itself as a thriving dynamic area at an international level with huge steps being made both in setting up sites where ideas can be shared and cultural output disseminated and where young artists from these areas can be supported. At UniCredit, through the various banks in the Group, including Zagrebačka banka, we have always been committed to promoting various initiatives to enhance the art, history and identity of the 22 countries we operate in.

(picture : Gustav Wunderwald, Harbour, 1924 HVB Collection)



Klovicevi dvori Gallery
Jezuitski trg 4,
tel.+385 1 48-51-926