The Cool Gaze

Realism in the Twenties

1 June2 September 2001

To celebrate the opening of the new exhibition hall we showed “Der kühle Blick – Realismus der zwanziger Jahre”, or “The Cool Gaze – Realism in the Twenties”, a large-scale exhibition devised by Professor Wieland Schmied. This ‘long decade’, extending in fact from the end of World War I to the early Thirties, has been the starting point for a variety of documentations over the last few years. The Munich exhibition differed from its predecessors in that it restricted itself exclusively to the paintings of the decade, which gave us the opportunity to take a look at the New World as well as Europe. This was the first time that such a large selection of paintings by American artists such as Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Georgia O’Keefe or Charles Sheeler has been juxtaposed with masterpieces by Picasso, Mirò, De Chirico, Modigliani, Beckmann and Dix. All aspects of Realism – from Neoclassicism through Novecento, Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and Magic Realism to precisionism – could be found in the exhibition; and collectively they painted an impressive picture of this exciting period.

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