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Art review: Ekvilibristen Lotte Laserstein rediscovered

A painter who yet around the 1930s creating images as if photography never existed, collage not interfered with the realism bildrum, dada and surrealism, not bl

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Art review: Ekvilibristen Lotte Laserstein rediscovered

A painter who yet around the 1930s creating images as if photography never existed, collage not interfered with the realism bildrum, dada and surrealism, not blasted apart the very idea of how a work of art can look like – can such an artist be of interest, other than as an amusing anachronism?

Lotte Laserstein (1898-1993) has in recent years been highlighted as an important rediscovery in Germany, or, rather, as a recent discovery, because she never got the great recognition before she in 1937, was forced into exile to Sweden.

With its quiet realism, belonged to the she is not the modernists who just that year laughter out as degenerate of the two million visitors at the exhibition ”Entartete Kunst” in Munich. Perhaps that is why she is not revived immediately after the war, when many of the German museidirektörer and gallery owners who cleared out the avant-garde was in a hurry to prove how much they, in fact, beloved of the modernists, especially the jewish. To loudly celebrate the avant-garde was a cheap way to whitewash themselves.

Lasertein lived a secluded life in Stockholm and then in Kalmar. She had no role in the current sudden revaluation.

Lotte Laserstein, ”Self-portrait in the studio”, ca 1927 Photo: Kai-Annett Becker/ the Berlinische Galerie

with thirty-five key works, which soon move from the Städel Museum in Frankfurt to the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, we meet a real ekvilibrist. You are drawn to the images ' details. The luster of an eye, tygernas tactile quality, the shine in the hair and in the cat's fur.

Lasersteins expression similar to that in the 20th century was called the new sakligheten. She paints the same independent women who we meet in August Sanders photographs, close-cropped and androgynous. No sliskigt the exploitation of the prostitution of others, no grotesque fysionomier as that of Otto Dix. No provocation or clear-cut political stance, no anguish or ecstasy. Laserstein create dignified portraits of people who appear immersed in themselves.

Sure, you sense of the modern world, the machineries but purely artistic, we are left in the academy. Boring? I've liked it when I browsed the directories and got tired of the brown tones. An ”academic modernist” sounds not so excited.

Lotte Laserstein, ”Russian girl in role” in 1928, Photo: Städel Museum – Artothek

”Abend über Potsdam” (1930) is something new. I did not know that ölglaset in his hand tumbles out of the picture as a version of Édouard Manet. I did not know that päronets surface was damp at the really or to the dog's eyes shine so strange under the table where it is depressing the gang sitting and surar.

the First time I met Lasersteins painting in earnest was at an exhibition about the year 1938 at the jewish museum in Frankfurt. There was a point that it was impossible to judge if an artist belonged to the nazis, and condemned only to look at the works themselves. Attacking Emil Nolde was condemned but created in secret. Nothing in the jew Lasersteins paintings appear completely incompatible with the neo-classicism and traditionalism, that the nazis advocated. But with her jewish descent she had to still away.

the Masterpiece ”Abend über Potsdam” she had with him in exile and it shows up as an echo in the later works created in Sweden. I now hope that a Laserstein-exhibition, which also includes the Swedish years will be in Sweden.

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