Lehmbruck and the Avant-Garde

Exhibition for the 60th anniversary of the Lehmbruck Museum
Under the patronage of the President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas


16 June until 6 October 2024

Courage is the key human skill for solving dilemmas and mastering crisis situations. It is the ability with which we repeatedly free ourselves from seemingly hopeless situations and think into the future. The exhibition "Courage" shows this in an exemplary way with prominent works from the first half of the 20th century, one of the most exciting and influential periods in art. Based on the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck, the exhibition traces the courageous steps and decisions that drive creative processes and bring about change. The Lehmbruck Museum is taking its 60th anniversary as an opportunity to focus on the theme of courage, as it has lost none of its explosive power and could hardly be more topical today.


Oskar Schlemmer, Fünfzehnergruppe, 1929

Oskar Schlemmer, Fünfzehnergruppe, 1929, (detail) photo: Bernd Kirtz

At a time of political upheaval, social conflict, groundbreaking innovations and the horrors of war, artists have given form to situations of upheaval. They created groundbreaking works, overcame boundaries and found new forms of expression that enable us to deal with the new.

For the first time, the exhibition presents Lehmbruck's work in the context of Cubism, Bauhaus and Dadaism. It shows works of sculpture as well as selected paintings and drawings. The outstanding work of Medardo Rosso forms the overture to the exhibition. Together with exemplary works by Auguste Rodin, Lehmbruck's works enter into a dialog with representatives of the avant-garde, including Medardo Rosso, Auguste Rodin, Egon Schiele, Oskar Schlemmer, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Käthe Kollwitz, Alexander Archipenko, Umberto Boccioni, Lyonel Feininger, Alexej von Jawlensky and Wladimir Tatlin. The lives of these artists also bear witness to courageous steps. The exhibition shows inspiring ways of meeting the challenges of the time. It is an example of how art, with courage, stubbornness and the joy of reinvention, succeeds in sharpening our awareness and encouraging us to take new steps.

The exhibition is supported by the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), the Sparkasse Duisburg and the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland.