press release

Drawing on the museum's rich holdings of German art and a number of important loans, this exhibition examined how artists and artworks defined or responded to individual, social and national identities over the course of the last two centuries. A chronological presentation framed several critical themes, including the relationship between portraiture and fantasy, the place of war as both idealized continuity and rupture, the city as a site of carnivalesque inversions, and the ongoing effort to identify how German art might look. Works by Max Klinger, Emil Nolde, Gabriele Münter, Max Beckman, Käthe Kollowitz, Erich Hechel, Joseph Beuys, Gerog Baselitz, and a group of contemporary artists from the former East Germany were among the highlights.

Curator: Reinhold Heller, University of Chicago Professor of Art History and Germanic Studies, in collaboration with Elizabeth Rodini, Smart Museum Mellon Projects Curator.

This exhibition and related programs were made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Smart Family Foundation; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; the Eloise W. Martin Fund; the Rhoades Foundation; the German Consulate General; Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes Chicago; the Office of the Provost, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of German Literature and Culture, and Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Department of Art History, University of Chicago.


Confronting Identities in German Art
Myths, Reactions, Reflections

Werke von Max Klinger, Emil Nolde, Gabriele Münter, Max Beckman, Käthe Kollwitz, Erich Hechel, Joseph Beuys, Gerog Baselitz ...