The exhibition “Modigliani. Modern Views” is the first exhibition on Amedeo Modigliani in Germany for 15 years. In cooperation with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, a show has been created that surprisingly reassesses the image of women in Modigliani’s work and shows many of his works for the first time in juxtaposition with works by German-speaking artists of Classical Modernism.
Fig. above: Amedeo Modigliani, Nude woman lying on her side, 1917, Nahmad Collection © Nahmad Collection
Born in Livorno to a Jewish family, Amedeo Modigliani is considered one of the best-known representatives of the Parisian bohemian scene in the run-up to and during the First World War. Modigliani portrayed renowned artists of his time, including Pablo Picasso, Chaim Soutine and Diego Rivera. Another genre to which the young Amedeo had devoted himself since his student days in Livorno and Florence caused a real scandal: the female nude. At a vernissage in 1917, a work by Modigliani, presumably placed in a shop window, caused such a stir that the gallery owner Berthe Weill had to take down all the nudes to prevent them from being confiscated by the police.
One of these works, “The Reclining Nude with White Cushion”, is now one of the highlights of the Staatsgalerie’s collection. Together with the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, it has taken on the task of understanding these portraits of women, long interpreted in the tradition of scandal, as expressions of a male artist’s excessive perspective, now as testimonies to the emerging self-confidence of the modern woman.
The exhibition “Modern Glances”, the last time a show on the work of Amedeo Modigliani was shown in Germany 15 years ago, therefore also focuses for the first time on portraits of women – female writers, fashion designers, painters – in short, female artists who, with their short hairstyles and in men’s clothing, seem like an anticipation of the “New Woman” in Art Deco and New Objectivity.
“The exhibition builds a bridge from the emancipation of women as models – to the emancipation of women in the art trade (like Berthe Weill) and the emancipation of women as artists (like Emilie Charmy or Natalia Goncharova),” says Christiane Lange, director of the Staatsgalerie.
From Pablo Picasso to Paula Modersohn-Becker to Egon Schiele, the references thus range from a complex of works that has often and perhaps unjustly been placed outside the major styles of its time (such as Expressionism and Fauvism). “Modern Glances” therefore shows, in addition to around 50 paintings and drawings by Modigliani, 30 works by contemporary artists from European and American museum and private collections.
“For the first time, an exhibition on Modigliani broadens the view beyond Paris, and also shows Modigliani in dialogue with German-speaking artists such as Lehmbruck, Klimt, Schiele, Kirchner or Paula Modersohn- Page 2 of 2 Becker, and illustrates that a “back to the figure” was already being formulated in various European cities during the First World War and not just in the 1920s,” says Nathalie Lachmann, curator of the exhibition.
The exhibition “Modigliani. Modern Views” is being created in cooperation with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, where it will be on view following its run at the Staatsgalerie (24 November 2023 to 17 March 2024). It is under the patronage of the Embassy of the Italian Republic in Germany.
Opening: Friday, 24.11.2023, 10.00 – 17.00 hrs
Exhibition dates: Friday, 24.11.2023 – Sunday, 17.3.2024
Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00, Thu until 20.00, Mon closed
COST? Regular 7 euros, reduced 5 euros, free admission on Wednesdays.
Free admission for children and young people up to and including 20 years.