From 27 May 2023, the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg) will be showing the exhibition “Der Geschöpfe sind viele…”. On the occasion of a generous donation, 30 works by the Swiss surrealist Max von Moos (1903-1979) as well as new acquisitions by Hannah Höch (1889-1978), Unica Zürn (1916-1970) and the contemporary artist Fatoş İrwen are at the centre of the new collection presentation in the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection. Starting with Hannah Höch’s titular gouache “Der Geschöpfe sind viele zwischen Himmel und Erde” (1930), the exhibition explores the theme of the image of man in Surrealism in six chapters.
Fig. above: Hannah Höch, Der Geschöpfe sind viele zwischen Himmel und Erde, 1930 Deckfarben auf blauem Papier 36,7 x 50,4 cm, Stiftung Dieter Scharf zur Erinnerung an Otto Gerstenberg, Photo: Grisebach GmbH / VG-Bild Kunst
Already in the work of Odilon Redon (1840-1916), a predecessor of Surrealism, the motif of the detached head stands for a purely spiritual visionary power detached from the body. Hans Bellmer’s (1902-1975) works created in the 1930s during the rise of National Socialism exemplify the Surrealist concept of the disfigured human being. Salvador Dalí (1904- 1989) and André Masson (1896-1987) or even Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973) in his brief surrealist phase and Max von Moos depicted the human being as furniture or replaced parts of his body with objects. In another group of works, the human face appears only as a mask. After the catastrophe of the Second World War, various artists such as Richard Oelze (1900-10980) and Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) or Max von Moos juxtapose the denatured image of man of early Surrealism with the idea of a kind of renaturation: as if from raw matter, new living beings and creatures develop, of which it is not yet quite possible to say whether they will also be human.
The Max von Moos Foundation is donating 30 works by the artist to the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection. The new acquisition of works by Hannah Höch, Unica Zürn and Fatoş İrwen was made by Julietta Scharf for the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection.
The exhibition is curated by Kyllikki Zacharias, Head of the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection.
Saturday, 27 May – Thursday, 19 October 2023
Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm