These emotional categories – melancholy, cheerfulness, brutality – serve as the point of departure for the individual sections of the exhibition “The Poetry of Colour”, featuring paintings, drawings and prints of the Classical Modern period from the prominent holdings of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.
“Blue”, as the principle of spiritualization and abstraction, is represented by the artists of the Blauer Reiter in Munich, Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky, as well as a number of their friends such as August Macke, Heinrich Campendonk, Robert Delaunay, Alexej Jawlensky and Emil Nolde.
“Red”, as a symbol of brutality, aggression and, by implication, war, unites Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz and Paul Klee, who – each in his own way – struggled to come to terms with the incomprehensible.
The balancing act between calmness and uncertainty from the 1920s onward is manifest in the artists’ group “The Blue Four”, in which the Bauhaus masters Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee encountered Alexej Jawlensky.
“Yellow” is the concluding satyr play in which several of the artists once again come together – sensual, ironic, extreme to the point of grotesqueness, and thus defying all abysses and adversities with the help of art.
The opportunity to unite paintings, drawings and prints of various artists from within our own holdings is one of the great strokes of luck a museum like the Staatsgalerie has to offer. Again and again, its valuable treasure – the result of some two hundred years of a passion for collecting on the part of the directors and curators, the sovereigns and ministries supporting them in their endeavours, but also numerous private collectors with their donations and loans – brings new surprises and discoveries to light, raises questions and provides answers. Works familiar to our visitors from the permanent exhibition, combined with those from the depots and storage rooms – masterworks not deliberately kept hidden but rarely shown, already for conservatorial reasons or simple reasons of space alone, often presented elsewhere in the world as highly coveted loans, but never here in Stuttgart – offer a new perspective.
A catalogue accompanying the exhibition has been published.