While Viennese artists continued to push forward Vienna Modernism in the early 20th century, some of their German colleagues began to develop another genre. The Leopold Museum showcases the latter’s efforts in the German Expressionism exhibition.
- Includes highlights from the prestigious Braglia and Johenning collections
- Works by Kandinsky, Klee and many more
- Exhibition dates are Nov 15, 2019 to Aug 30, 2020
- All display info is in English, too
- A normal museum ticket gets you in
- See also: Leopold Museum visitor & ticket info
In the early part of the 20th century, various artists began to use painting as a particular means of expressing emotion and experience. Expressionism was born, with its roots anchored in Germany. And it’s this German Expressionism (Deutscher Expressionismus) that forms the focus of a new exhibition at Vienna’s Leopold Museum.
The genesis of this style owes a significant debt to the work of two groups in particular:
- The Dresden-based Brücke group of artists, which included the likes of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Max Pechstein, and Emil Nolde, all of whom feature in the Leopold’s exhibition
- The Munich-based Neue Künstlervereinigung München group of artists around such luminaries as Marianne von Werefkin, Alexej von Jawlensky, and Wassily Kandinsky (also all represented in the exhibition)
To create an exhibition truly representative of these groups and the era that defined their work, the Leopold Museum and curator, Ivan Ristić, have included around 120 exhibits from two prestigious international art collections:
- The Swiss Braglia collection, which is the result of Gabriele and Anna Braglia’s decades-long interest in art. As well as a strong focus on early 20th century German Expressionism, their collection includes works by such greats as Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Joan Mirò, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
- The German Johenning collection, which owes its existence to the efforts of Renate and Friedrich Johenning, who share a common interest in German Expressionism with their Swiss counterparts.
These shared interests are such that the Fondazione Gabriele e Anna Braglia recently hosted a joint exhibition of the two collections in Lugano: “From Kandinsky to Nolde”.
This is the first time that works from these collections can be seen in Austria.
The variety of works on show is broad, so everyone will find something to catch their eye. Two sets of works grabbed my particular attention:
- Emil Nolde’s Hülltoft Farm and his Landscape (with Farmhouse and Mill). There’s tangible menace in the dark clouds pictured
- A few paintings by Alexej von Jawlensky, particularly his heads (including the famous Abstract Head) and Mood of a Thunderstorm
Dates and tickets
The exhibition of German Expressionism starts on November 15th, 2019 and ends August 30th, 2020.
While you’re there, be sure to explore the rest of the Leopold Museum, especially its excellent permanent display: Vienna 1900.
How to get to the exhibition
Several of Vienna’s top museums all fill a small space near the centre, and the Leopold Museum is one of them. Just follow directions for the Museumsquartier (MQ).
Go into the MQ through the main entrance, breathe in the culture, then look left. That big building you see with the words “Leopold Museum” written down the side? That’s the one.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna