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Flores y mujeres from the hierling collection – Museum of Phantasie | 15.09.2022-26.02.2023

Editors’ Choice

In 2018, the poem “Avenidas y flores y mujeres” (Boulevards, Flowers and Women) by the Bolivian-Swiss writer and founder of Concrete Poetry, Eugen Gomringer, caused a big stir: Because it turned women into objects of male gaze, it was criticised as sexist and eventually removed from the façade of a Berlin university.

Image above: Walter Becker, Trio III, 1968

Women and flowers are frequent motifs in the visual arts, especially in the paintings of the expressive realists. That generation of artists celebrated their successes between the two world wars, during the Nazi era they were ostracised as “degenerate” and after the Second World War they were considered antiquated because of their realistic painting.

This was also the case for Karoline Wittmann, who lost her entire early oeuvre in a night of bombing at the end of 1944. Her Self-Portrait as a Half-Nude with Gladioli from 1949 is a bold leap towards emancipation from the National Socialist image of the chaste housewife. It can be seen as an example of how female nudes painted by women not only reflect the social position of women throughout history, but can also counter the respective image of women with an artistic statement.

Against the background of the criticism of Gomringer, Walter Becker’s works “Trio 3” or “Im Bad” also offer interesting illustrative material. At an advanced age, Becker develops his paintings entirely out of colour in a new attempt. What appears to be a superficial and large-scale viewing pleasure of pointed nudes is actually an attempt to create a musical sound with colour, the sound of memories, impressions and longings of a long life. But where is the line to be drawn between artistic freedom and moral imperative?

FLORES Y MUJERES encourages the discussion of questions that arise again and again when dealing with art: What is beauty? What images of women are constructed? What is more important: erotic fantasy or respect for the opposite sex? The exhibition aims to make people sensitive to these issues and to present these art-historically significant works to a new reception in an open and critical way. Finally, this exhibition is a warm invitation to enjoy the contemplation of art.


Museum OFPhantasie
Am Hirschgarten 1
82347 Bernried am Starnberger See


15. October 2022 until 26. February 2023

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