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Jewish Museum: Paris Magnétique. 1905-1940 | until 01.05.2023

Editors’ Choice

Since 25 January 2023, the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) presents the exhibition Paris Magnétique. The French capital was a magnet for artists from all over the world in the first half of the 20th century.

Fig.above: Amedeo Modigliani, Porträt von Dédie, 1918 FR, Paris, MNAM – Centre Pompidou

With Paris Magnétique, the JMB is dedicating the first major exhibition in Germany to Jewish women artists of the “Paris School“. With around 120 works in ten chapters, the show traces how migrant, often marginalised positions as part of the Parisian avant-garde shaped today’s understanding of Western modern art. On display are works by well-known and lesser-known female artists, by Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Sonia Delaunay, Jacques Lipchitz and others.

In addition to numerous paintings, the JMB shows sculptures and drawings. Contemporary documents such as photos, newspaper and film clips illustrate the historical context and the biographies of the artists, their networks and meeting places such as Montparnasse or the studio house “La Ruche”, “The Beehive”. All this gives a vivid impression of the Jewish-European diversity in the French capital.

DEEDS NEWS - Courtesy of Jüdisches Museum - Otto Freundlich, Komposition, um 1919 FR, Pontoise, Musée Tavet-Delacour
Otto Freundlich, Komposition, um 1919 FR, Pontoise, Musée Tavet-Delacour

The term “Paris School” (“École de Paris“) refers neither to a school of art nor to a stylistic framework, but to a cosmopolitan art scene that asserted itself against nationalist and xenophobic voices. In 1925, the journalist and art critic André Warnod coined the term to refer to the nascent European avant-garde of Paris.

The director of the JMB, Hetty Berg, emphasises that the “École de Paris” was regarded worldwide as a model, benchmark, point of orientation and comparison for artistic developments:

“This Parisian avant-garde broke down the stylistic boundaries not only of individual genres, but also of genres, and gave the whole of European modernism its decisive impetus. With this exhibition, we recall that this avant-garde included many Jewish artists and many women, and that they moved or had moved between countries, cultures and milieus”.

DEEDS NEWS - Courtesy of Jüdisches Museum - Marc Chagall, Das Atelier, 1911 FR, Paris, MNAM - Centre Pompidou
Marc Chagall, Das Atelier, 1911 FR, Paris, MNAM – Centre Pompidou

The artists of the “Paris School” came to France from Germany, Italy and the former Russian Empire, Poland, Ukraine and Belarus to find a new, free environment for their work. Dr Shelley Harten, curator at the JMB, emphasises that Paris was a very special place at the beginning of the 20th century:

“Like a magnet, the French metropolis attracted female artists from all over the world – it offered them classes in various academies, a wealth of exhibitions and museums, an active art market and, last but not least, the community of bohemians in the city’s many cafés and bars. Some women artists were thus able to escape the poor living conditions in their countries of origin, marginalisation and discrimination, even pogroms.”

The exhibition Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine… Paris pour école, 1905-1940 was originally conceived by the musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris and presented from June to November 2021. Many of the works on display come from the collections of the mahJ and the Musée national d’art moderne at the Centre Pompidou, as well as from private lenders.

WHERE?

Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Altbau, 1. OG
Lindenstraße 9-14
10969 Berlin

WHEN?

Wednesday, 25 January 2023 until Monday, 1 May 2023

daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

COSTS?

Admission 8 EUR / reduced 3 EUR

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Thomas Hoepker 1936-2024