ABSTRACT ART AFTER 1945
As the first contribution to the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, the Emil Schumacher Museum exhibits a cross section of Abstract Expressionism in Europe in the exhibition New Freedom.
At the end of WW II, Abstraction developed into the ‘world-wide language of painting’ and was the dominant idiom of the Third Documenta 1964 in Kassel. For this exhibition, Emil Schumacher painted three large works titled Documenta I, II, and III. After the exhibit, the artist inadvertently destroyed Documenta I while re-working the painting. Twenty-seven years later, he created a new painting, Palmarum, using the frame of the ruined original. This work transports the dynamics and the turbulence of the earlier painting into the painterly expression of his late works. While the Documenta paintings represent the ‘heroic’ phase of Abstract Expressionism in Europe, Palmarum, painted in 1991, represents the following generation of abstract expressionist painting in the 20th century.
The exhibit presents the two remaining Documenta paintings with works of several other outstanding artists of the Third Documenta in Kassel. As a contrast, paintings from the 1970’s to the 1990’s are grouped around Palmarum.
New Freedom documents the range of Abstract Expressionism in Europe and convenes, for the first time, some of the most important international post-war Avantgarde in Hagen. Works by Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, Pierre Alechinsky, Antonio Saura, Antoni Tàpies, Arnulf Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly and Emil Schumacher.