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“From Hopper to Rothko” - a masterclass in US Art History

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(16 Jun 2017) LEADIN:An exhibition of American art has opened in Potsdam, near the German capital Berlin.It takes visitors from the early works of American Impressionists, though inter-war Realism to the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Joan Mitchell.STORYLINE:Visitors to a new exhibition in Potsdam can expect a masterclass in American Art History.The exhibition "From Hopper to Rothko: America's Road to Modern Art" at the Barberini Museum showcases 68 works from the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. It is the first time these paintings have been shown in Germany.Some paintings and artists are iconic, like Jackson Pollock, the trailblazer of American Abstract Expressionism and Philip Guston with his softer Existentialist paintings.But there are also works that are probably unknown to a European audience, such as early Impressionist works by American artists such as Theodore Robinson and Childe Hassam.These works are clearly inspired by the French Impressionist movement.Robinson's work "Giverny" was painted in 1889. Theodore Robinson travelled to Giverny, the place where Claude Monet painted his famous water lilies, for inspiration.While Hassam used American locations for his Impressionist paintings, such as people strolling under an arch in Washington D.CDirector of Museum Barberini Ortrud Westheider says there are only a few paintings from the early days of American art in museums in Europe."People probably know Georgia O'Keeffe or Edward Hopper but probably not Helen Frankenthaler or Arthur Dove or other important icons in the development of American art," she says."That means that there is so much to discover, aside from the big names, and that is why we really wanted to bring these treasures here to Potsdam."Once the chronological exhibition moves into the inter-war years, the art and artists become more familiar to European audiences.A painting called "Sunday" by Edward Hopper depicting a man smoking a cigar on a sidewalk, is an image many art lovers in Europe will recognize.But it is really in the post-war period that the American artists become famous."Faded Air" by Joan Mitchell and "First Sprouting" by Hans Hofmann and works by Mark Rothko are images and artists known to many art lovers around the world.Curator at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C Susan Behrends Frank has travelled to Germany with the works.She says there is a link between European and American art of this time."That thread is definitely apparent in the exhibition. That those earliest galleries really speak to a tradition that builds upon a European Western aesthetic," Behrends Frank says. "And then there are American painters like Georgia O'Keeffe or Arthur Dove who are trying to find a new visual language that is uniquely American between the wars. But certainly, once you hit that post-war moment, American art has kind of found its voice on an international level," she says.It is the first time works from the Phillips Collection are on show in Germany.Behrends Frank says there was little international interest in the collection up until about 2005 but now there are constant requests for their artworks.She says she is pleased by the attention."Well, I'm surprised and I'm also gratified to know that there is this growing interest and that there is an appetite to learn more about American art," she says."From Hopper to Rothko: America's Road to Modern Art" at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam opens on June 17 and runs through October 3, 2017.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4101887 061db90d6ec7d7f2f614baf12c9dea47 HZ Germany Art Mark Rothko Jackson Pollock Helen Frankenthaler Western Europe District of Columbia United States Arts and entertainment Lifestyle
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