Written by 13:00 Frankfurt Life


The Schirn is dedicating a comprehensive retrospective to Lyonel Feininger’s oeuvre, the diversity of which is little known.

The German-American artist Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) is a classic of modern art. The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is dedicating the first major retrospective in Germany in over 25 years to the important painter and graphic artist and is presenting a comprehensive and surprising overall picture of his oeuvre. Feininger is known for his paintings of buildings, crystalline architectures in impressive monumentality and harmony of color. However, today’s reception often overlooks the originality and artistic diversity of his work, which reflects numerous modernist tendencies. Several seemingly contradictory interests run through his oeuvre with great continuity and are part of his signature style. The Schirn is presenting rarely exhibited major works such as Die Radfahrer (Radrennen) (1912), Selbstbildnis (1915), Zirchow VII (1918), Gelmeroda XIII (1936) or Manhattan I (1940), aber auch weniger bekannte Arbeiten wie die erst vor einigen Jahren wiederentdeckten Fotografien des Künstlers. 

Lyonel Feininger, Die Radfahrer (Radrennen), 1912, oil on canvas, 80.3 x 100.3 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1985.64.17, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

"Lyonel Feininger is one of the best-known representatives of classical modernism in Germany and yet the versatility of his versatility of his art is surprisingly unknown to a large public. The large retrospective at the Schirn now offers a spectacular new examination of his entire 60 years of artistic work with important and rarely shown loans from collections in Europe and the from collections in Europe and the USA. This unique overview reveals the the versatility of his oeuvre, which holds a number of discoveries in store."

Continuity and opposing tendencies continue in Feininger’s late work. In 1937, the artist and his Jewish wife Julia fled from National Socialist Germany to exile in the USA after almost 50 years. His art was publicly defamed in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition and over 400 works were confiscated from public collections. After two years in New York, Feininger managed to return to painting. With the help of his “NaturNotizen”, he returned to earlier motifs in a new style and transferred central compositions such as the canyons of buildings from Barfüsserkirche II (1926) or from the photographs from Halle to his new surroundings, for example in the series of New York pictures such as Manhattan I (1940)

About the exhibition:

Place: SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT, Römerberg, 60311 Frankfurt am Main Dauer: 27. Oktober 2023 – 18. Februar 2024

Entrance fee:  Wochenende 14 €, ermäßigt 12 €, wochentags 12 €, ermäßigt 10 €, freier Eintritt für Kinder unter 8 Jahren 

Hours: Di, Fr bis So 10-19 Uhr, Mi und Do 10-22 Uhr

Source: Auszüge aus der Pressemitteilung, Schirn Kunsthalle
Images: © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2023, Foto: Norbert Miguletz; Die Radfahrer (Radrennen), © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

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