The collection of prints and drawings in the Kunstmuseen Krefeld encompasses around 12,000 works on paper, ranging from individual pieces to portfolios and artist books. Show & Tell. Prints and Drawings from the Kunstmuseen Krefeld does not focus on a specific period or technique. Ranging in scope from the 19th century to the present, the exhibition highlights the rich holdings in the Krefeld collection and contributes to the reawakened interest these mediums.
The selected works are arranged chronologically for the most part, although the timelines are occasionally interrupted to present overriding thematic aspects. The focus of the selected works is placed on those artists in particular who made special use of the specific possibilities and characteristics of prints and drawings. The aesthetics of Japanese coloured woodcuts and dying stencils can be traced by way of Art Nouveau to Henri Matisse’s pochoir prints and Max Klinger’s visionary works were echoed in apocalyptic post-war drawings. The line becomes tangible as a sensitive instrument for the formulation of utopian spatial notions, for example in works by Constant, Richard Long and Bruce Nauman. Traditional printing techniques like photogravure, etching and aquatint have been taken up again by contemporary artists such as Christian Boltanski and Luc Tuymans with a specific contentual turn. Prints by Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg, Sigmar Polke, Andy Warhol, among others, visualise the relevance of the changes in design and society brought about by developments in the mass media since the 1960s. Woodcuts by László Moholy-Nagy from the 1920s and Ernst Caramelle’s works employing sunlight from around 1990 make up two chronological poles of the investigation of constructive design principles. These few examples already convey an impression of how diversely narratives can be spun in such amazingly productive and eloquent works on paper.
A bilingual (German-English) catalogue will be published.