Those Early Years

British and German Art after 1945

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Carina PlatH
texts (German/English) by Arie Hartog, Carina Plath and John-Paul Stonard
128 p with 100 coloured illustrations
270 x 210 cm, half bound

ISBN 978-3-86442-101-3

(out of print)

Hidden Treasures

The art of the immediate postwar period is often considered only in a historico-cultural context that has somehow been eclipsed by the – generally considered as positive – era of social and political change of the 1960’s, its avant-gardes out-shining the artistic achievements of the period of consolidation. Now, after more than sixty years, a fresh look at the sculptural and pictorial characteristics of the art of the 1950s should be possible. The autonomy of art as an idealistic moment in the language of form still seemed a fea-sible objective, and emerging within its development was a hitherto new, intensively discussed ethical claim. The search for new forms was, on the one hand, characterized by concepts such as originality and simplicity, on the other hand, there is concentration and focus. Organic shapes, smooth materials such as wood and bronze lead to clear statements on the outside and lend the figure a new identity. It becomes clear, in particular in the relationship of figure and space, that the human figure found a new position, a kind of existential space evolving through motion. A third way emerges in the confrontation between abstraction and figuration, one that aims to connect the two currents, and, to some extent, considers the figure the last guarantor of a humane worldview. Sculpture, one focus of the show, is appropriated for the purpose of international relations and represents the general human condition in its specific form.

The artists:
Kenneth Armitage, Francis Bacon, Willi Baumeister, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Emil Cimiotti, Karl Fred Dahmen, Edgar Ende, Karl Otto Götz, Otto Herbert Hajek, Hans Hartung, Karl Hartung, Bernhard Heiliger, Werner Heldt, Barbara Hepworth, Norbert Kricke, Alfred Lörcher, Henry Moore, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Ben Nicholson, Richard Oelze, Eduardo Paolozzi, Josfe Scharl, Bernard Schultze, Emil Schumacher, Hans Uhlmann, Fritz Winter, Wols

Sprengel Museum Hannover, 14/6–28/9/2014