Hendrick Goltzius after Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, Phaeton, 1588
copperplate engraving, 31,3 cm, sheet 3 of the four-part series Die Himmelsstürmer
Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Kupferstichkabinett / Photo: Karen Blindow
The art of the virtuoso engraver Hendrick Goltzius oscillates between the poles of imitatio and aemulatio, between imitation and emulation. Goltzius was capable of reproducing the artistic methods and styles of such famous predecessors as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden and Cornelis Cort — and even of composing new engravings in their respective manner, thereby putting the expertise of the public to the test.
The point of departure for the presentation will be the six so-called master engravings from the 1590s, which were created after Goltzius' journey to Italy. As Karel van Mander reports, Golzius used smoke to blacken the paper of the prints in order to sell them for horrendous prices to collectors and connoisseurs as “engravings by the Old Masters”. Moreover, in an era in which art emancipated itself from craftsmanship, Golzius explored the power of artistic imagination as such, for example by deliberately leaving the Adoration of the Shepherds in a state of incompletion. He further pursued fascinating art-historical approaches such as an investigation of the cognitive value of vision.
Photo: Kerstin Rolfes
“You call this art?” or “I could do that too!” are two exclamations which can often be heard in response to abstract or non-objective art. Rightly so? Young children in particular have an unprejudiced point of view and approach such works of art without reservations and fear of contact. They allow themselves to be guided by the play of colours and traces which they can follow in these works of art.
This situation is taken up by a gallery space which is being specially designed for children and families. The exhibition conveys diverse insights and approaches to works of art in which the amorphous and strongly abstracted interplay of form and colour play a predominant role. Visitors to the museum will be surprised by the selection of works. On display will not only be representatives of Modernism, such as Johannes Itten, or of the Informel movement, such as Emil Schumacher, but also pictures from the Renaissance, the Baroque era and the nineteenth century which cause amazement through the abstract forms they contain.
The exhibition is being prepared as part of a new cooperation between the Kunsthalle and KiTa Bremen (day care center) which allows, since November 2013, children from twenty kindergartens and day-care centres to visit the museum. With pedagogical guidance from the museum, the children engage in an active encounter with non-objective or abstract art in an intuitive and creative manner. Their favourite pictures from our collection and their associative responses to them will find a place in the display. “What do YOU See?” is supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation as an ongoing outreach concept by the initiative “Art and Games”.
left: Otto Piene, Salon de lumière, 1961/98, Installation, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Photo: Lars Lohrisch, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014
right: Portrait Otto Piene by Lothar Wolleh, Photo: Lothar Wolleh © Oliver Wolleh, Berlin
Sarah Morris, Jardim Botânico [Rio], 2013 (Detail), 59,81 m x 4,07 m
© Sarah Morris
The American artist and filmmaker Sarah Morris (* 1967) has created a monumental, panoramic mural for the central entrance hall of the Kunsthalle Bremen. Jardim Botânico [Rio] (“Botanical Garden”) is related to the artist’s new series of works entitled Rio but also reacts to the architecture of the museum. The spectacular installation combines luminous colours and abstract grid structures with rectangular and curved forms to form a spectacular environment. The numerous layers of brilliant pigments and
household enamels give rise to visual rhythms as well as to tactile, almost relief-like structures.
Morris works in the tradition of geometrical painting of modernism as well as of the 1960s with marked references to the oeuvre of Piet Mondrian, the American color field painters, Op Art and Victor Vasarely. She continues this tradition creatively into the future and instils new life into a reduced formal language through her dynamic, intensively colourful compositions. But with the shiny colours of her striking paintings and murals the artist also reflects critically on the illusionary world of Hollywood film and the surface aesthetics of glossy magazines, fashion and advertising.
The exhibition has been realised with the generous support of the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art of the Kunstverein Bremen and the Bremer Landesbank.