Gabriele Münter: Strong woman of German modernism | Arts | DW | 13.09.2018
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Gabriele Münter: Strong woman of German modernism

Gabriele Münter was expressive and eager to experiment — and she decisively influenced modern art in the 20th century. With "Painting to the Point," Cologne's Museum Ludwig has dedicated a major exhibition to the artist.

Color-intensive portraits of her artist friends, romantic landscapes of her adopted Bavarian home, rare photographs from a trip to the United States in the late 19th century, interiors, abstract graphics, even primitivist images — all of this has been gathered together in the Cologne show, which was created in collaboration with Munich's Lenbachhaus

Gabriele Münter with her long-time companion, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1916) (picture-alliance/akg-images)

Münter lived in Bavaria with her long-time companion, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky

The new exhibition invites visitors to rediscover and re-evaluate Gabriele Münter, who lived from 1877 to 1962. What would German expressionism be without the self-confident painter, photographer and graphic artist?

"Her role as a ded­i­cat­ed pro­po­nent, me­di­a­tor, and long­time com­panion of Wass­i­ly Kandin­sky is well-known and rec­og­nized," Museum Ludwig states on its website. "This ex­hi­bi­tion de­mon­s­trates Gabriele Mün­ter's im­por­tance and in­de­pen­dence as a pain­ter: with more than 120 paint­ings, in­clud­ing works from her es­tate that will be pre­sent­ed to the public for the first time, it will of­fer a new look at this strong artist."

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The Blue Rider Group in Bavaria

Simple language, complex content

Münter's joy in experimenting as an artist can be found in many of the works on show. "I bring out what is expressive in reality; I simply present, without digression, the core of something," Münter once remarked. "So the completeness of the natural phenomenon is disregarded, the forms gather into outlines, the colors into surfaces."

This is how Münter, part of the Blue Rider group, once formulated her idea of painterly creativity. She wanted to directly reproduce the essence of a motif, and she made use of a seemingly simple formal language. But the directness of many motifs contrasts with a multilayered content.

The Cologne exhibition is divided into 10 thematic areas, each of which presents specific aspects of her work. The exhibition "Gabriele Münter — Painting to the Point," which first stopped off in Munich and Copenhagen, can be seen at Museum Ludwig from September 15 to January 13.

(with dpa)

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