Urban Landscapes

Reutlingen | Exhibition | until January 31, 2021
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The exhibition Urban Landscapes. City and architecture in art on paper from Max Beckmann to Wolfgang Mattheuer shows prints from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Reutlingen by artists who deal with the phenomenon of the city as an architectural and social entity. The works of art allow extraordinary perspectives on a landscape that is constantly changing, renewing, expanding and modifying and constantly adapting to the needs of the population.

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It used to be the case: what lies outside the city walls is rural area. But the woodcut Sturmbock – The Great Fire (1965) by HAP Grieshaber, which shows medieval city Reutlingen in flames, already points to the end of this separation of intra muros and extra muros. In modern times and later in the course of industrialization, there has been gradual urbanization. Suburbs spread along traffic routes into the center. New settlements emerged that offered a new society opportunities for living, working, leisure and consumption. With Vorstadt-Morgen (1920), Max Beckmann captured the dreary life in residential buildings on the outskirts, just as Jan Brokof portrayed the longing view from a high-rise almost a century later in his woodcut Am Horizont Poland (2009). Built worlds – urban landscapes – have completely different social and economic qualities than untouched nature, as it was idealized as a place of longing in Romanticism. In the small-format graphics by Hannah Höch and Lyonel Feininger, one can observe how organic forms and urban backdrops are also subjected to an abstract, geometric design language.

Foto: Frank Kleinbach © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020.
Ausstellungsansicht „Urbane Landschaften. Stadt und Architektur in der Kunst auf Papier von Max Beckmann bis Wolfgang Mattheuer“, Kunstmuseum Reutlingen / Spendhaus, 2020.

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Shopping streets with shop windows and glass office buildings have become an integral part of inner cities. People who are either strolling and looking at goods in the shop windows or who hurry to the next appointment are reflected in the smooth facades. Reflections captured by the two artists Winand Victor and Katsutoshi Yuasa. Branching streets, stairs, squares, underpasses, passages, parks – anyone who moves in the city centers can easily get lost in a labyrinth, physically but also metaphysically. Those looking for unfamiliar routes in their hometown often discover completely new sides in a familiar environment. Not least because a relentless renovation process is underway: underground sewers have to be maintained, pipes and lines replaced, streets are torn up, houses demolished and rebuilt, entire districts converted and redesigned. The destruction is always followed by a new beginning – the opportunity to continue the urban development discourse and to discuss topics such as reconstruction, conversion, expansion and reforms and gentrification within society.

Foto: Frank Kleinbach © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020.
Ausstellungsansicht „Urbane Landschaften. Stadt und Architektur in der Kunst auf Papier von Max Beckmann bis Wolfgang Mattheuer“, Kunstmuseum Reutlingen / Spendhaus, 2020.

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In the city, people share an urban space for experience and action – through social and physical encounters on the streets, squares, in train stations and buildings – through exchanges with one another, the community is formed. Due to the worldwide spread of the corona pandemic, these very places have suddenly become a danger zone. Images of people who seek contact with the outside world in window frames, such as Werner Wittig or Philipp Hennevogl, have been spread by the media in recent months. The individual was left with a view of the world out of the window. Society had to painfully discover what it means to lose the public space in which political action is possible. The sidewalk, the market square, the bus station, the football field or the playground in the housing estate are places where city dwellers can perceive themselves as part of a community and social bonds can be established between people. We experience with an urgency like seldom before: “Space is no longer an abstract concept; it is real and existential.” (Quote from: Andres Lepik and Marjetica Potrc: “Cities in Transition”, in: Architektonika, Berlin: 2013)

Foto: Frank Kleinbach © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020.
Ausstellungsansicht „Urbane Landschaften. Stadt und Architektur in der Kunst auf Papier von Max Beckmann bis Wolfgang Mattheuer“, Kunstmuseum Reutlingen / Spendhaus, 2020.

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The presentation of the collection is supplemented with architectural models. These are entries from the gmp office for this year's Postareal competition, the office Trojan for the tender City Nord (2010) and the office Hinrichs and Wilkening for the competition Bruderhausgelände (2007).

With works from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Reutlingen by
Gerhard Altenbourg, Gerd Arntz, Heiner Bauschert, Max Beckmann, Julius Bissier, Roger Bitterer, Jan Brokof, Eduardo Chillida, Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, Christoph Feist, HAP Grieshaber, Sabina Grzimek, Claas Gutsche, Philipp Hennevogl, Hannah Höch, Karl- Horst Hödicke, Gottfried Honegger, Gabriela Jolowicz, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Martin Noël, Ana Strika, Kaspar Toggenburger, Rob Voerman, Winand Victor, Werner Wittig, Katsutoshi Yuasa

Urbane Landschaften (Urban Landscapes)
04.10.2020 – 31.01.2021

Kunstmuseum Reutlingen | Spendhaus
Spendhausstraße 4 | 72764 Reutlingen

Tue-​Sat 11 am–5 pm
Thu 11 am–7 pm
Sun/Holidays 11 am–6 pm Uhr
Closed Monday / Christmas Eve / New Year's Eve.