In the first exhibition highlight of the year, three outstanding artists – Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Georg Kolbe, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – are being brought together for the first time at Haus Lange in Krefeld. Figurative sculpture, as repeatedly integrated into designs and buildings by the architect Mies van der Rohe, is thus placed in direct dialog with the building, the design, and the gardens of Haus Lange. The background for the interplay between architecture and sculpture is the natural-philosophical climate, which, in the early twentieth century, influenced a wide range of disciplines. On display will be roughly fifteen sculptures by Lehmbruck and Kolbe as part of the organic body of Haus Lange.
In 1927, Ludwig Mies an der Rohe (1886–1969) integrated a sculpture into one of his buildings for the first time. He preferred figurative sculptures in his early European work. The installation of Kolbe’s sculpture Der Morgen (Morning) in the Barcelona Pavilion at the 1928/29 International Exposition became famous. The sculptors Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919) and Georg Kolbe (1877–1947) updated the sculptural image of humankind and reflected the achievements of abstraction in figurative sculpture. All three operated within a cultural climate that was significantly influenced by findings in the field of natural science. For example, the biologist Raoul Francé, who is almost forgotten today, drafted a biocentric worldview, which also verifiably influenced Mies van der Rohe.
In the exhibition, eight sculptures by Wilhelm Lehmbruck and seven by Georg Kolbe, including Mädchen sich umdrehend (Girl, Turning) und Der Morgen, interact with the spaces, materials, and nature of the house. Through their different materials (bronze, plaster, cast stone) and poses, the sculptures reveal the abstracting possibilities offered by the human figure and how a spatial reference can be formulated. They transport the idea of the human body as an organism into Haus Lange. The house itself becomes an exhibit that can be understood as an organic system with its garden layout and with building materials such as wood, clay, travertine, marble, and glass. The installation of the exhibition provides many references to such “natural” connections and lend both Mies van der Rohe and Raoul Francé a voice by means of projections.
The project is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog (German/English). The exhibition is being developed in cooperation with the Kolbe Museum in Berlin, which will host the exhibition in 2022.
The exhibition is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of thr State of North-Rhine Westphalia, the Sparkassenkulturstiftung, the State NRW, and kindly supported by Green Gartenkultur.
Sylvia Martin (deputy director of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld) and Julia Wallner (director of the Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin) about the exhibition.
Greetings from Frank Meyer, Lord Mayor of the City of Krefeld, Katia Baudin, Director of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld and Sylvia Martin, curator of the exhibition
Sunday, April 18, 2021, 11 am
Ed. Sylvia Martin, Julia Wallner
Contributions by Katia Baudin, Söke Dinkla, Sintje Guericke, Eckhard Leuschner, Sylvia Martin, Stefan Schweizer, Matthew Vollgraff, Julia Wallner
288 pages, 170 illustrations
23 × 28 cm, hardcover
Museums edition: 35,00 Euro, bookshop edition: 45,00 Euro